CIS Instant Classic: Ottawa Gee-Gees Survive Bishops and Gaiter Nation!

 

It was the most exciting CIS game that I’ve ever experienced live.

#3 Ottawa VS #6 Bishops.

Courtesy: Ken Hama
Courtesy: Ken Hama

The 18-1 Gee-Gees (32-2 overall VS CIS) entered as a clear favourite, having been ranked #2 in the nation for much of the season, and even spending time at the #1 spot for several weeks.

On the other hand, the 8-8 Bishops Gaiters (10-16 overall VS CIS) limped into the CIS Final 8, after a big victory over the #1 team in the RSEQ, McGill.

CIS observers didn’t know what to expect, however the team’s resumes would suggest a blowout win in favour of Ottawa.

Wrong.

It was 51-46 Bishops after three quarters, and it looked like the Gaiters were on their way to the biggest upset of the season.

Ottawa wasn’t having that, as multiple players stepped up on both ends. Mike L’Africain hit a timely three-ball to gain some comfort, while Gabriel Gonthier-Dubue put an exclamation mark on the game with a two-hand jam.

Final: 91-85 Ottawa over Bishops in overtime.

The Gee-Gees shot 43% from the field, 24% from three, and 62% from the charity stripe–numbers that Ottawa was not excited about.

“I don’t know how much worse we can play offensively…we’ll watch that tape tomorrow as a team and act on what we can improve on,” explained CIS Player of the year Johnny Berhane, who finished with 19 points while making key buckets in the fourth.

“I think there’s an angel watching over our team or something…at times they deserved that win, but basketball doesn’t work like that,” continued Berhane.

For most of the second half, momentum looked to be in favour of Bishops with a belligerent crowd behind them…

Gaiter Nation

Courtesy: Ken Hama
Courtesy: Ken Hama

An arguement could be made that Bishops University has the best fans in the nation.

“We had to try to cancel what they did,” said Berhane, referring to the Gaiter contingent.

“It’s a good atmosphere, its fun to be a part of that stuff. CIS basketball deserves to see the kind of stuff, special to be a part of that, special atmosphere.”

Although his team came up short, Mike Andrews was the player of the game to me. A 6’10 big man that is very comfortable in his skin–he’s a banger with a mean streak. Not only did he take care of business offensively, but also made the Gee-Gees life difficult in the paint–no easy buckets.

Stat Line: 17 points, 19 rebounds and four blocks.

The Bishops Gaiters will now take on Windsor in the consolation bracket, while Ottawa will match up against Ryerson in the CIS semi-finals.

Berhane stressed the fact that

“We’re pretty locked in, you don’t really have time to pat yourself on the back, that’s when the next team is going to come in and punch you in the face.”

Ottawa was punched by Bishops, but haven’t been knocked out.

Top Performers

Ottawa Gee-Gees

  • Caleb Agada – 22 pts, 9 rbs, (6 TO’s) (5/12 FG, 11/14 FT)
  • Johnny Berhane – 19 pts, 6 rbs, 3 asts, 4 stls (5 TO’s)
  • Mike L’Africain – 17 pts, 7 asts
  • Gabriel Gonthier-Dubue – 13 pts, 3 rbs, 4asts, 4stls

 

Bishop Gaiters

  • Mike Andrews – 17 pts, 18 rbs, 3 asts, 4 blks (6/12 FG)
  • Jona Bermillo – 23 pts, 6 rbs, 7asts (6/10 3P)
  • Karim Sy-Morisette – 12 pts
  • Naji Majid – 10pts, 7 rbs

 

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