Mike L’Africain, Johnny Berhanemeskel lead Ottawa U over Laurier
Johnny Berhanemeskel – Pts: 21, Reb: 5, Ast: 2, Stl: 2, Min: 29
Chris Anderson – Pts: 15, Reb: 7, Ast: 3, Stl: 3, Min: 26
Matt Buckley – Pts: 12 (6-8 FT), Reb: 7, Ast: 2, Stl: 0, Min: 35
OTTAWA,ON- The Ottawa University Gee-Gees started this game strong and stayed ahead until they piled it on in the fourth quarter to bury the Laurier Golden Hawks by a score of 90-59.
Johnny Berhanemeskel scored a game-high 21 points, and told NPH “the hard work we put in through the summer, it’s starting to display and our team cohesion is getting better. Everyone’s starting to play with more confidence knowing where each other are on the court and having each others’ back on defense.”
Ottawa got out to a hot start again on this night and jumped out to an 11-2 lead, led by Vikas Gill and Johnny Berhanemeskel, but Laurier closed the gap to 19-15 at the end of the first quarter.
The closest that Laurier came to the Ottawa lead was after consecutive baskets by Conor Meshino and Matt Buckley cut the Ottawa lead to 32-30.
Johnny Barhanemeskel helped Ottawa close the half strong with scoring from inside and outside, and Ottawa took a 41-34 lead at halftime.
The Ottawa University Gee-Gees surged ahead in the second half with strong contributions from Vikas Gill, Chris Anderson, and Mike L’Africain. The highlight of the game came when L’Africain stole the ball, got it to Johnny Berhanemeskel who dropped it to the trailing Chris Anderson for the dunk and the 49-37 lead.
After more three pointers, Ottawa ended the third quarter up 61-49.
In the final quarter, Ottawa outscored Laurier 29-10 with continued production from Johnny Barhanemeskel and Mike L’Africain. After Mike L’Africain hit a three-pointer, then got to the rim and was fouled on the following posession, Laurier coach Peter Campbell showed his frustration with the referees and was ejected after a double technical foul, with his team down 82-56.
Ottawa then cruised to a 90-59 win.
“After these two games we’re definitely happy with the way we’re progressing in the preseason,” Johnny Berhanemeskel told NPH. “Ball movement was definitely important on offense, but what gets our offense going is just playing defense, talking on defense, staying energized, and flying around that’s when we’re at our best. We’re definitely looking forward to the season.”
Laurier will play their final game of the tournament Sunday at 11am against UNB, while Ottawa looks to stay undefeated at the Jack Donohue Tournament in the final game at 1pm against McGill.