M-BASKETBALL WEEKEND ROUNDUP: Toronto wins OUA East battle with Queens, claim final playoff spot

M-BASKETBALL WEEKEND ROUNDUP: Toronto wins OUA East battle with Queens, claim final playoff spot

Saturday, February 21

Queen's 79 @ Toronto 87

The University of Toronto Varsity Blues men's basketball team defeated the Queen's Gaels 87-79  to advance to the postseason in their regular season finale on Saturday night (Feb. 21) at Goldring Centre for High Performance Sport.

The win moves the Blues into third place in the OUA East with a 6-13 record. The Gaels season comes to an end as they finish fourth with a 5-14 record.

The Blues now await the OUA playoff schedule announcement, set to come out tomorrow (Sunday).

Third-year forward Devin Johnson notched a team-high 18 points and added 13 rebounds in the victory. Fourth-year guard and team captain Julian Clarke added 17 points, five boards and three assists, while both Kwasi Oti-Awere and Sage Usher had 13 points on the night. Usher came up with two big blocks late in the game.

Manny Sahota ended the game with 12 points and six boards, while Dylan Churchill had eight points in the win.
Queen's was led by Sukhpreet Singh's 20 points, while Greg Faulkner had 18 in the loss. 

NOTES: The Varsity Blues honoured graduating players Denis Ankrah and Dylan Churchill in a special post game ceremony.

Source: Toronto Varsity Blues

Algoma 51 @ McMaster 100

The McMaster men's basketball team paid tribute to two senior players, and then dominated the visiting Algoma Thunderbirds 100-51 on Saturday at the Burridge Gym.

Fifth-year forward Taylor Black and fourth-year guard Adam Presutti were the recipients of some tokens of appreciation before the game to recognize their careers in Maroon.

Making its first visit to McMaster as an OUA opponent, Algoma jumped in front 4-0 before McMaster went to work.  Using some impressive long-range shooting, McMaster went on a 28-7 run to open up a 28-11 lead and by the end of the quarter, the Mac margin stood at 37-17.

The second quarter saw Algoma work hard to close the gap, the T-Birds got as close as 43-29 before the Marauders ended the quarter on a 16-5 run that boosted the lead up to 59-34 at intermission.

The third quarter was all Maroon as the home team started the quarter on a 16-2 run and held Algoma to just eight total points for the quarter.   After 30 minutes, McMaster was firmly in control 86-42.

Coach Amos Connolly took advantage of the big lead to give his whole roster some playing time, including seldom-used Lucas Marsden, who knocked down two late treys, including the shot that put McMaster at the century mark.

In his final league game, Black was the top Marauder with 19 points.  Aaron Redpath scored 16, while Presutti chipped in 11.  Algoma was led by Terrell Campbell with 10.

The Marauders tied the team record for three-point goals in a game by sinking 15 of 35 from long range, and McMaster also dominated the rebounding charts by 57-22.

McMaster finished league play with a 16 and 3 mark, and is guaranteed a first-round playoff bye.  Check marauders.ca for information about playoff dates and opponents as it become available.

Source: McMaster Marauders

Western 71 @ Waterloo 82

WATERLOO, Ont - In the Mustangs' final OUA regular season game, the Waterloo Warriors took a 10 point lead going into the final frame that would eventually mark them victorious over the Mustangs with a final score of 82-71 at the PAC Gym on Saturday afternoon.

The loss puts the Mustangs record to 13-8 for the regular season going into playoffs. They end the season in second place of the OUA West Division standings behind the Windsor Lancers. The Waterloo Warriors end their basketball season placing in fourth place with a record of 6-14 in the same standings.

Greg Morrow topped the purple and white scoresheet with 15 points, with teammates Jedson Tavernier and Anthony Spiridis following right behind with 14 a piece. Despite being heavily defended, Morrow was able to lead his defence with 10 rebounds with Cameron Morris helping the squad with three blocks. Waterloo Warrior Myles Charvis lead his team with the game-high 30 points with teammate Jaspreet Gill following with 21 points for the team.

The Mustangs were able to get ahead of the race early on by showing on the scoreboard first to start their lead. After a brief moment of trailing behind the Warriors, a basket by Morrow put the purple and white in the lead for the rest of the frame. A strong performance by Tavernier gave seven points on the board including a three-point shot late in the frame to double the opponents score. The Mustangs went on to take the first frame with a score of 18-10.

Able to extend their lead to 10 at the eight minute mark, the Warriors adrenaline kicked in and their offence started to kick it up a notch. With help from Warrior Charvis, who connected 14 points in the second quarter alone, the home team was able to catch up and tie the Mustangs at 28 with less than three minutes left in the frame. The Warriors seized their opportunity to gain the lead by sinking a couple baskets along with increasing their pressure on the Mustangs to get ahead in the final minute and take the lead going into the second half of the game with a score of 38-33.

The Warriors continued to fight hard in the second frame as they started on a 7-0 run before the Mustangs could add another point to their score. Adding pressure to the Mustangs with grabbing defensive rebounds and triple teaming Morrow, the Mustangs key player, the Warriors maintained their lead through the whole frame. Jon Ravenhorst was the Mustangs biggest threat as he sunk seven points for the Warriors in the frame. The Warriors continued to lead the Mustangs going into the fourth frame with a score of 59-49.

The Warriors refused to open up the opportunity for the Mustangs to regain their lead in the fourth frame. Making their highest lead of 16 at the three minutes into the game, the Mustangs couldn't seem to make the plays they needed without the Warriors intervening. Continuing to find success around the arc, the Warriors walked away with the victory with a final score of 82-71.

Despite the loss, the Mustangs secure a spot in the postseason as they finish in the top three of the West division. Regardless of division poisition, the post-season match-ups will be determined based on the RPI (Rating Percentage Index) of the 12 qualifying teams to determine the playoff bracket. The Mustangs start their playoff run at home with their opponents to be announced as the OUA Preliminary Rounds get on their way on Wednesday, February 25. The match-up will be streamed live on OUA.tv.

Source: Western Mustangs

Windsor 87 @ Laurier 77

WATERLOO, Ont. (February 21, 2015) - The Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks men's basketball team kept their final game of the regular season a close contest but ultimately dropped an 87-77 decision to the No. 5 Windsor Lancers on Saturday afternoon.

The Hawks came out strong in the first quarter against the Lancers, keeping pace throughout the majority of the quarter and using the last couple minutes to drive up a 28-21 lead over the top-ranked OUA West team.

But Windsor responded in the second with a few quick baskets to even up the score. For the remainder of the quarter the two teams went almost shot for shot to end the first half at a thrilling tie game with 39 points apiece.

Laurier's offensive efforts were lead by third year centre, Matthew Chesson (Whitby, Ont.) who notched 11 points throughout the first half. 

The teams continued to keep the fans on the edge of their seat as neither side could establish a clear lead in the third quarter but, by the fourth, the tempo shifted in the Lancers' favour.

Although Laurier was able to take as many shots during the game as the Lancers, Windsor was by far the more efficient team from the field, connecting on 51.4 percent of their field goals compared to the Hawks' 39.4 percent. Their superior shooting performance helped pushed them to the win.

Fourth year guard Rotimi Osuntola (Windsor, Ont.) came out big for the Lancers in the second half, scoring 14 of his points in that half alone and ending the game with a 23-point total while also adding six rebounds. Guard Alex Campbell (Brampton, Ont.) came in just behind his teammate with 22 points and added nine rebounds.

Matthew Chesson finished with 15 points and seven rebounds in his 14 minutes of play. Second year guard Owen Coulthard (Oakville, Ont.), brother of leading scorer Will Coulthard who did not dress for today's game, ended the game with a season-high 16 points for the Hawks.

The Golden Hawks finished the 2014-15 regular season 7-13 for 14 points in the OUA standings and ranked third in the OUA West division.

With the end of the regular season, the Hawks move on to first round of playoffs which will begin February 25th. Stay tuned to laurierathletics.com for complete playoff information.

Source: Laurier Golden Hawks

Lakehead 89 @ Guelph 74

Guelph, ON – The Gryphons men's basketball team lost 89-74 Saturday night versus the Lakehead Thunderwolves in what was the regular season finale for both teams.  The Gryphons finish the regular season with an 8-11 record, good for third in the OUA Central division.  Lakehead finishes in second place in the Central, with a record of 11-8.  Both teams qualify for the OUA playoffs.

For a second straight night, the Gryphons got off to a slow start against the Thunderwolves.  Unlike Friday night's matchup, the Gryphons would this time be unable to overcome the sluggish start.  Lakehead built up an early double digit lead Saturday night as they lead 19-9 after the opening quarter.  That lead would grow in the second quarter as the Gryphons found themselves down by 15 at the half.

Guelph was able to make a bit of a charge early in the second half, outscoring Lakehead 22-20 in the third quarter, which was capped off by a buzzer beating three pointer by Jack Beatty.  However, in the end the Gryphons were not able to get the stops they needed on the defensive end, as Lakehead would go on to a 15-point win, 89-74 the final.

Jonathan Wallace and Daniel Dooley were the high scorers for the Gryphons with 12 points apiece.  Fifth year guard Michel Clark was honoured before the game as part of Saturday's "Senior Night" celebrations.

Source: Guelph Gryphons

Laurentian 73 @ Ottawa 112

Two important feats were reached on Saturday night: the uOttawa Gee-Gees finished with the best record in program history and graduating senior Johnny Berhanemeskel eclipsed the 2,000 career point mark. Ottawa closed the regular season with a 112-73 win over the visiting Laurentian Voyageurs. 

It was a tentative start to the game for the Gee-Gees who were also celebrating senior night with Berhanemeskel and Gabriel Gonthier-Dubue graduating this year. They started off a little soft in the first quarter and ended up trailing by three after one. That quarter featured 10 lead changes.

The second quarter was when the Gee-Gees started to settle into their usual groove, using a 30-3 run to make it a 57-30 lead at halftime. The Gee-Gees started making it look easy in the third with their ball movement. This allowed their outside game to open up even more as they hit 19 threes on the night.

 "We started to make some shots in the second quarter," said a pleased head coach James Derouin after the game. "We started to defend. We woke up there. I think the senior night thing threw us off a little bit. But the second quarter the kids woke up. I mean 27 assists, that's spectacular. We talked about it. That's our identity, the ball movement, the threes. So I'm happy with that."

 "What we really wanted to gain from this weekend was to get our rhythm back, especially offensively," added Derouin. "The last month, we've been winning, but we just haven't had our identity with our assists down, with Mike out. With him back the last couple weeks, I feel like we're just getting back. I felt like we're back to playing our style tonight. We got everyone involved and we got some freshman in who played great. So we're in good shape heading into the playoffs."

The special moment of the night came with 3:15 remaining in the third quarter when Matt Plunkett found an open Berhanemeskel at the top of the key. He did what he knows best, sinking a three to hit the 2,000 point mark on his five-year career.

"It was on my mind all week," said Derouin. "We've got team goals and individual goals. We don't want our individual goals impacting our team ones. We wanted to get Johnny on the bench and get him rested. But he's a special kid and it's a special milestone. We didn't want to leave him three points short. We're glad we got it and now we can focus on the playoffs."

"I've been truly blessed. I feel like everything has paid off," said Berhanemeskel. "Being able to play in all my regular season games, it's been a blessing. Fastest five years of my life. I have so many people to thank. It's been such a great day and week reminiscing on the past five years."

Six Gee-Gees recorded double-digits on Saturday night. Berhanemeskel led with 28 points, Vikas Gill had 18, Plunkett 16 (including 6-for-6 shooting, L'Africain contributed 13, while Agada and Morrison finished with 11.

"It's a great way to go out as a senior," said Gonthier-Dubue. "It was our first goal to host the OUA Final Four and so we just have to get the job done next week."

Ottawa will await their OUA quarter final opponent and open the playoffs at home on February 28 at 7 p.m.

Source: Ottawa Gee-Gees

Nipissing 53 @ Carleton 97

The #1 Carleton Ravens (17-2) were in control from start to finish as they finished a 97-53 drubbing of the Nipissing Lakers (0-19).

In the final game of the regular season, graduating players Victor Raso, Thomas Scrubb, and Philip Scrubb were all recognized for their contributions to the Carleton Ravens men's basketball program before the game.

It was a slow start as the Lakers played some effective defense and Carleton experimented with a zone press.  The teams traded hard-fought baskets before the Ravens finally get things rolling.

First they found Phil Scrubb for a three to give an 8-2 cushion.  But Nipissing answered with a long jumper from Jordon Campbell.  The Ravens then got hot – hitting three consecutive threes – to open up a 17-5 lead midway through the quarter.

It was all Phil Scrubb for the remainder of the frame, who finished with six threes (6-7 from beyond the arc) to pile up 19 points in the first quarter alone.  Behind his outstanding shooting the Ravens built a 33-13 advantage heading into the second.

The Ravens continued to roll, building on their lead behind stifling defense and brutally efficient ball movement.  While Phil Scrubb continued to hit shots from outside, Connor Wood got in on the action as well, scoring 10 points in the quarter (4-7 from the floor).

Even as head coach Dave Smart worked rookies Mitchell Wood and Sheldon McIntosh into the lineup, the Ravens led 59-22 at halftime.

Carleton relied on their pair of brothers early.  Phil Scrubb was simply dominant, finishing with 27 points (including 8-10 from three), while Thomas Scrubb chipped in with 6 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 assists.  Meanwhile Connor Wood had 10 points and 6 assists, while Mitchell Wood had 6 points and 2 assists of his own.

The Ravens had an impressive 15 team assists to just 4 turnovers, while Nipissing struggled to take care of the ball, committing 12 turnovers to just 2 team assists.  Carleton also was in control of the rebounding battle, with a 24-13 edge.

Marcus Lewis (7 points, 3 rebounds) and Campbell (6 points, 2 assists) paced the Lakers, who shot just 34.8% from the floor (and hit just 1-7 from downtown).

The trend continued down the stretch as the Carleton bench kept to outplaying the Lakers.  Cam Smythe and Mitch Jackson got extended minutes in the post, and Mitchell Wood and Sheldon McIntosh played bulk minutes in the backcourt.

After going up 81-37 after three, the Ravens came away with a convincing 97-53 victory.

Carleton hit 50.6% from the floor (53.3% from range) and had 23 team assists to just 9 turnovers.  Though the rebounding battle evened out (the Ravens had a +4 margin), it was the Lakers' shooting struggles (30.0% from the floor, 26.3% from range) that was their downfall.

Phil Scrubb paced all scorers with 27 (he played sparingly late) while Connor Wood (17 points, 9 assists) and Guillaume Payen-Boucard (14 points, 12 rebounds) had dominant second half performances.  Mitchell Wood (10 points) also finished in double-digits for the Ravens.

Lewis (19 points, 4 rebounds) led the Lakers, while Jerron Rhodes (10 points, 9 rebounds) and Campbell (9 points) chipped in as well.

Source: Carleton Ravens

Friday, February 20

Lakehead 66 @ Guelph 69

The Gryphons men's basketball team won 69-66 over the Lakehead Thunderwolves Friday night at the W.F. Mitchell Athletics Centre.  With the win, the Gryphons improve to 8-10 while Lakehead falls to 10-8.
As the saying goes, it's not how you start, it's how you finish.  That held true from Guelph's perspective on Friday night.  After a sluggish, mistake-filled opening quarter, the Gryphons found themselves trailing 20-9 heading to the second.  From that point on, the Gryphons turned things around, trimming the double digit deficit to six after three quarters of play.  In the fourth, the Gryphons would finish strong, outscoring Lakehead 21-12 in the final quarter.  The Gryphons, who trailed by as many as 13 in the opening quarter, would take their first lead of the game with four minutes left in the fourth quarter on a pair of Ahmed Haroon free throws.  Haroon came off the bench to score 13 points, and was part of a reserve squad that was the difference on the night as the Gryphons would go on to the 69-66 victory.
With the starters struggling early on, Gryphons head coach Chris O'Rourke went to his bench and the reserves would respond in a big way.  Three different Gryphons came off the bench to score in double figures; Jonathan Wallace had a team-high 17 points, Haroon added 13 and Taylor Boers finished with 12.  On the night, the Gryphons bench outscored the Lakehead bench 49-15.  The Gryphons were also able to win the turnover battle, forcing the Thunderwolves into 21 turnovers (and scoring 29 points off of Lakehead turnovers).
Although the Gryphons had already clinched a playoff spot before the game had even started, the win was a big step forward toward securing home court advantage in the opening round of the playoffs.  It will all be settled after Saturday night's games wrap up.  The Gryphons and Thunderwolves will play game two of their doubleheader Saturday at 8pm in what is the regular season finale for both teams.

Source: Guelph Gryphons

Nipissing 55 @ Ottawa 117

The Gee-Gees led from the first quarter on in a 117-55 win over the visiting Nipissing Lakers as Mike L'Africain blew open the game with 14 points in opening frame, going 4-4 from long range.

uOttawa appeared to get an open shot nearly every time down the court as Nipissing's slow perimeter defence would prove costly against one of the best three-point shooting teams in the nation.

"We got ahead on them early tonight. I think we did a good job of executing the game plan all the way through the game. I would have like to see better and clean up those turnovers in the third but we will take the win and look ahead to tomorrow," said Ottawa head coach James Derouin.

The second half was more of the same as uOttawa continued to pour on the points and pad their lead. Johnny Berhanemeskel finished the night with a game high 21 points and five assists. Mike L'Africain also had a strong performance, chipping in with 17 points and six assists.  The Gee-Gees rookies got some playing time late in the contest and Mackenzie Morrison finished the game with 12 points on 4-4 shooting.

"Offensively we were in sync tonight that's for sure. We still would have liked to rebound a bit better in the second half but overall we are happy with tonight's game," said L'Africain. "Its great to see the young guys get some points tonight. We love seeing that because these guys follow us to battle in every single practice but don't always get the minutes in games."

Marcus Lewis provided most of the scoring for Nipissing, finishing the game with 18 points. Jordon Campbell also chipped in with 15 points and seven boards.

Both teams will be back in action tomorrow night when the Gee-Gees take on the Laurentian Voyageurs and the Lakers head across town for a duel against the Carleton Ravens. Both games are set for 8 p.m. starts and will be available online on OUA.tv

Source: Ottawa Gee-Gees

Laurentian 39 @ Carleton 85

The Laurentian Voyageurs (7-11) kept it close for much of the first half, but the #1 Carleton Ravens (16-2) had an explosive third quarter to secure a 85-39 win at home.

Gavin Resch opened the scoring with a three, and would stay hot for the quarter hitting 10 points in the frame.  Behind Resch's shooting the Ravens went on an early 13-3 run, making it look like this game would be over almost as soon as it started.

But the Voyageurs settled down and it took some patience on offense but together had a run of their own.  Thanks to a 41.7% shooting quarter, Laurentian trailed by just 19-13 after the first.

The Voyaguers stayed hot early in the second, putting together a 6-0 run to start the quarter and tie the game up at 19.  Shortly after, a three from Ryan Bennett gave the Voyageurs their first lead of the game and prompted a timeout from Ravens head coach Dave Smart.

Down 25-23, Carleton turned to Jean Emmanuel Pierre-Charles and Connor Wood for offense.  The two combined for 10 points as part of a 14-1 Ravens run to finish the quarter.  The Ravens held a 39-26 lead at halftime.

Despite Carleton's 13 point advantage, the two teams were actually quite balanced in the early going.  The Ravens shot slightly better (45.7% to 40.0%) and had a slight edge in rebounding (18 to 16).

Bennett led all scorers at half with 11 points (including 3-4 from downtown) while Tychon Carter-Newman chipped in with 9 points for the Voyageurs.  Meanwhile Resch (10 points), Pierre-Charles (8 points) and Thomas Scrubb (8 points, 8 rebounds) drove the Carleton offense.

The Ravens kept rolling in the third as the Voyageurs stalled almost entirely.  Managing just 7 points in the quarter Laurentian also couldn't stop Carleton on the other end.  The Ravens piled on 31 points in the frame, extending their lead to 70-33 heading into the fourth.

The fourth quarter served as an opportunity for Carleton to get some of their younger players some minutes against a play-off team.  Cam Smythe (16 minutes), Mitchell Wood (11 minutes), Sheldon McIntosh (10 minutes), and Mitch Jackson (8 minutes) all played in the final frame.

With such a gap there was little the Voyageurs could do to close it  and Carleton came away with an 85-39 victory.

As a team Carleton hit 51.6% from the floor and 50.0% from three (to Laurentian's 32.7% and 17.6%).  The Ravens also took control of the boards, finishing with a +15 margin, and had 16 team assists next to just 7 turnovers.

Resch tied his career-high as he finished with 22 points including 6-9 from three (7-11 overall) to go along 5 assists and 4 rebounds.  Five other Ravens finished in double figures including Pierre-Charles (14 points, 6 rebounds), Thomas Scrubb (13 points, 9 rebounds, 7 assists), Philip Scrubb (11 points), Connor Wood (11 points), and Cam Smythe (11 points).

Bennett led the Voyaguers with 16 points, while Carter-Newman had 9 and David Aromolaran had 6.  No other Laurentian player scored more than 2 points.

The #1 Carleton Ravens now turn to a winless Nipissing Lakers team for the Saturday night match-up.  Tip-off will be at 8 p.m. in the Ravens Nest, with three graduating players – Thomas Scrubb, Philip Scrubb, and Victor Raso – being recognized before the game.

Source: Carleton Ravens

Queen's 67 @ Ryerson 94

The No. 3 Ryerson Rams men's basketball team overcame a first quarter deficit to defeat the Queen's Gaels 94-67 in the regular season finale on Friday night at the Mattamy Athletic Centre.

Adika Peter-McNeilly (Scarborough, Ont.) put up a career-high 31 points on an efficient 11-of-14 shooting and 7-of-7 from the free throw line to lead the Rams. Jahmal Jones (Mississauga, Ont.) added 21 points in his final regular season home game and Aaron Best (Scarborough, Ont.) also reached double figures with ten points.

"I just came into the game and wanted to be aggressive; attack the paint and protect the defensive glass," said Peter-McNeilly following the game. "My little floaters and layups were going in and I was getting to the free throw line so I was just feeling confident."

Queen's shot the ball well to start the game, particularly from three point range, and was able to carry an 18-16 lead into the second quarter. Ryerson nearly took the lead as Kadeem Green (Richmond Hill, Ont.) appeared to have hit a half court buzzer beater but it was waved off after the officials conversed during the quarter break.

"On days like this (senior night) you just think things will go your way and make every shot because it's a special night for special people…but we forget we have to play. It kicked in after Queen's took the lead a little bit and we decided to play and defend. After the first quarter we just got back to what we normally do," said Jones following the game.

Ryerson cranked up their offence in the second stanza, putting up 27 points to just 14 from the Gaels to give the home squad a 43-32 lead at halftime.

The third quarter was much of the same from the Rams, holding Queen's to just 14 points while adding another 25 of their own to open the game up after thirty minutes. Ryerson took a 68-46 lead into the final frame.

The fourth was highlighted by a pair of dunks from Best and Peter-McNeilly as the Rams cruised to the 27-point victory.

Queen's Tanner Graham had a team-high 16 points and Dan Thompson added 12 points in the loss.

Ryerson finishes the regular season with a 17-2 record, tying the program record for wins in a season set back in 1999-2000. The win also secured the Rams a bye through the first round of the playoffs. Queen's falls to 5-13 on the year and will finish their regular season on Saturday.

The Rams will now wait to see who they will host next Saturday, February 28 in the OUA quarter-finals. Stay tuned to ryersonrams.ca for all playoff information.

Source: Ryerson Rams