Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Number-One Seed Ottawa Defeats Saskatchewan to Advance to CIS Semifinal

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Number-One Seed Ottawa Defeats Saskatchewan to Advance to CIS Semifinal

Article excerpt

Ottawa defeats Saskatchewan 94-73 to advance

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OTTAWA - The University of Ottawa lived up to its billing as the number-one seed at the CIS Men's Basketball Championship with an impressive 94-73 victory over the Saskatchewan Huskies Friday night.

With the win the Gee-Gees will face the No. 4 Victoria Vikes in semifinal action Saturday night.

The Gee-Gees made things look easy as they ran away with the game with a solid fourth quarter where they took a 21-point lead, but they were forced to work for it.

The Gee-Gees took control early on as the Huskies struggled to find its range from the floor.

Trailing 5-0 the Huskies finally got on the board with back-to-back three pointers to take a 6-5 lead. It would be one of the few times the Huskies would own the lead.

The first quarter ended with Ottawa leading 26-22. Saskatchewan managed to tighten things up through the second quarter and trailed by just three at the half, 43-40.

"We would have liked to pull away early in the game, but I didn't think we were particularly sharp early in this game," said Ottawa head coach James Derouin. "I think the fatigue factor crept in a little bit. You could see it in their bodies and their faces so it's more just a game I'm glad we got over with to be honest."

There had been some concern as to how players would adapt to playing in the wide open confines of the Canadian Tire Centre, but the Gee-Gees seemed to adapt just fine as Ottawa was most impressive from the outside shooting 14 three-pointers.

"That's how we play," said Derouin. "We led the country in three's made and taken and we need to take three's for us to be successful. We shot the ball well."

The Gee-Gees offense was led by fourth-year forward Terry Thomas with 24 points, while Johnny Berhanemeskel added 20.

While the trio was the backbone to the Gee-Gees offense they also received solid contributions from the bench.

"It's those little contributions over the course of a tournament that are big," said Derouin. "I was happy with the team contribution."

While the Gee-Gees were pleased with the win they feel they will need to be even better against the Vikes Saturday night.

"We're going to need to be staying together, execution and just outworking them," said Thomas. …

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