The Gee-Gees men's basketball team used a powerful second half to down the McMaster Marauders 103-78 at Montpetit Hall on Friday night.
Coming into the matchup riding a three-game winning streak, the U SPORTS seventh-ranked Gee-Gees faced a McMaster team that will likely be a highly-seeded OUA West playoff team.
The play of the team's starting lineup was key to victory, as their five starters combined for 88 of the Gee-Gees' points on the night.
In the first quarter, McMaster came out with energy, battling the Gee-Gees to a 23-16 margin after the first frame. An even more hotly contested second quarter full of scoring from both sides had the Gee-Gees holding a 51-42 at the halftime break.
The Gee-Gees' offence opened up completely in the second half, the team's sparkplug was fifth-year guard Brandon Robinson who racked up a slew of three-pointers and dunks to put the game away for the Gee-Gees.
Outscoring the Marauders by a 29-13 margin in the fourth quarter, the Gee-Gees earned their fifth win on the young season.
"They're a good team, they have a ton of young talent," said Gee-Gees head coach James Derouin. "They play fast, so we responded well, it's kind of how we'd like to play, but we've had trouble finding that speed of the game."
"I thought Calvin and Kevin were really good tonight, our point guard play was fantastic. They controlled the pace, played faster, and combined for 14 assists and only three turnovers. Those two guys controlled it tonight," said Derouin.
Robinson, along with fellow guards Calvin Epistola and Kevin Civil dominated various aspects of the game. Robinson led the way in scoring with 20 points, going 4-5 from three and tallying four rebounds and assists. Epistola packed the stat sheet with 18 points, six rebounds and assists, and three steals. Civil, off the bench, had a balanced nine-point, eight-rebound, and four-assist performance.
In one of the most productive nights of the season from Ottawa's forwards, Guillaume Pépin and Mackenzie Morrison were key contributors to the Gee-Gees win. Pépin continued to build his Rookie of the Year case with another stellar 19 point and five rebounds. Morrison had the best night of the regular season so far, posting 16 points, five rebounds, and three blocks.
On the defensive end, the pair shut down McMaster's biggest front-court threat Connor Gilmore, who finished 0-10 from the field on the night.
"Everyone stepped up and took care of business," said Morrison, the fifth-year forward. "Guillaume played great, Gage knocked down his shots, Brandon knocked down his, and I hit mine. In the end it comes together for 103 points and a big-time win against this team."
Up next, the Gee-Gees will take on the Brock Badgers in a U SPORTS Top 10 matchup. The Badgers are fresh from a 40-point loss to Carleton, and try to right the ship at Montpetit Hall.
"This win will help build for tomorrow," said Pépin, who leads the Gee-Gees with 16.7 points and 7.7 rebounds per game. "Brock is a really good team, they are a bit similar to McMaster, so I think we know the game plan and will have this build into tomorrow's game."
"A lot of times teams come to Ottawa looking for one win, and unfortunately we know that's us and we take that personally obviously. Whether they're fresh or not fresh, Brock is a really good team, they have a big starting five, they're physical with veteran guards. They are tough and a legit Top 10 team, so we have to be ready to play tomorrow."
Tip-off is set for 8 p.m., Saturday, November 24, at Montpetit Hall, tickets are available at tickets.geegees.ca. The game will also be streaming live on OUA.tv