Following a 75-54 blowout of the Ryerson Rams, the Gee-Gees men's basketball team has advanced to the semifinals of the OUA playoffs for the first time since the 2016-17 season.
Against a team that has ended their season the past three consecutive seasons, the U SPORTS fifth-ranked Gee-Gees earned a statement win against the sixth-ranked Rams at Montpetit Hall on Saturday night.
Thought the teams were balanced through the first four minutes of the game, nearly everything afterwards fell in Ottawa's favour. The Gee-Gees ripped off an 18-2 run through the first quarter to open up a 23-8 lead after the first frame.
In the second quarter, the Rams found some momentum, but the Gee-Gees kept pace and held their same 15-point lead heading into halftime.
After the break, the Gee-Gees kept pressure up, ultimately fending off a Ryerson run in the late stages of the third quarter. As the Rams had gained some momentum, Ottawa's smothering defence and timely shooting put the game out of reach.
The Rams turned the ball over 25 times, which the Gee-Gees converted to 27 points on the night. Ottawa outrebounded their rivals 42-37 and were strong from the free throw line, knocking down 84.6 per cent of their shots.
Calvin Epistola and Guillaume Pépin led the Gee-Gees with with 18 points. Epistola delivered a well-rounded showing also logging seven rebounds, six assists, and five steals. Pépin added four rebounds and two steals. Marlon Kordrostami added 11 points and seven rebounds and three blocks. Kevin Civil turned in a strong 10 points, seven rebounds, three steals, and two assists off the bench.
With the win, the Gee-Gees are one step closer to earning their own berth to the U SPORTS Final 8, despite already possessing the host berth.
Ottawa advances to the OUA semifinals where they will face Carleton in a rematch of the Capital Hoops Classic. After defeating the Ravens just three weeks prior, it will be a must-watch matchup at the Ravens' Nest on Wednesday.
Tip-off is set for 8 p.m. tickets are available on the Ravens' website at goravens.ca/tickets. The game will be streaming live on OUA.tv.