The Varsity Blues men’s basketball team dropped their eighth straight game with a 92–75 loss to the visiting Ottawa Gee-Gees on Saturday night.
From the opening tip off, the Gee-Gees blitzed the Varsity Blues with stifling full-court pressure, but Blues guards Matt Savel and Arun Kumar were largely able to break the full-court press.
Kumar, the tenth-best scorer in the OUA, played a fantastic game hitting an array of shots from all over the court and finishing with a game–high 27 points. Forward Ben Garvin also had a solid game, making seven of 12 field goals and finishing the game with 17 points. Garvin was consistently able to get open and hit shots from outside, while also moving well towards the basket for some easy finishes.
The player of the game was Ottawa forward Gabriel Gonthier-Dubue who scored at will inside throughout the whole game. He shot an astounding 11 for 12 from the field including a ferocious alley-oop with 2.25 left in the fourth quarter, essentially sealing the game. Guards Warren Ward and Johnny Berhanemeskel both had solid games to set the pace for the Gee-Gees. Ward scored 14 points and Berhanemeskel added 19 of his own while shooting on seven of nine opportunities. Ward wasn’t very efficient from the field, only connecting on five of 16 shots but hauled in 10 rebounds and led the Gee-Gees emotionally.
Ward and Blues guard Dakota Laurin battled for much of the game and both were called for technical fouls after much pushing and exchanging of words.
Alex Hill, the star Varsity Blues guard, struggled against Ottawa. He hit the target on only two of 10 shots,and never seemed to find his groove in the first half. His play improved in the second half, connecting on a couple of long three-point shots and continuously drove to the hoop. His drives allowed him to get fouled multiple times, and he finished with 15 points, nine of which came from the line on his 11 free throw attempts of the game.
The momentum in the second half geared the game towards Ottawa, as they were able to continuously break pressure and found themselves with copious numbers of easy shots inside, including wide open three-pointers. They shot an impressive 64 percent from the field and 52 percent from deep. The Blues’ ultimate downfall was their inability to stop the Gee-Gees’ three–point shots, and they finished the game eight of 23 from downtown.
Ottawa’s shooting efficiency was too much for the Blues as they began to pull away in the third quarter, and Ottawa found themselves up 85–69 with three minutes to go in the fourth. The Gee-Gees put on a collective effort, with five players scoring double digits, and their guards were impressive, creating fluid ball movement and finding open shooters all game.
Garvin summed it up best, saying, “We battled hard in the first half, but the second half seemed to just slip away.” The Varsity Blues are now 2–9, and, according to Garvin, “have had a tough year.”