Ottawa (12-1) 102, UPEI (2-10) 88… 6’3″ Caleb Agada had 8 of his 19 points during a mid-fourth quarter 21-6 run that broke the game open and 6’1″ sophomore guard Calvin Epistola knocked down a pair of clutch 3’s during the run, part of his career-high 20 points to lead the Gee-Gees to a pull-away win over a hot-shooting UPEI Panthers side.
After UPEI’s 6’2″ Tyler Scott, who led all scorers with 29 including 11-11 at the foul line, knocked down a pair of free throws to tie it at 74 with 7 minutes remaining, the Gee-Gees got out in transition and finally solved what had been a pesky zone defense deployed by the Panthers. First Agada, who played only 17 minutes after being saddled with early foul trouble, got to the rim and then 6’9″ Jean Pierre-Charles (13 points, 5 rebounds) finished an “and 1” and Agada and Epistola closed an 11-0 run with back-to-back 3’s, both open looks after strong ball movement. Epistola was blistering from the perimeter, making 6 of 7 shots from downtown, but also read the game well both in transition and against the zone, doling out 7 assists, giving Gee-Gees Head Coach James Derouin potentially another minutes eater off the bench in the second half of the season.
Panthers also used a three-quarter court zone press to try to slow down the explosive Ottawa offense and were successful, taking leads as large as 8 early and 5-6 in the second half. But an inability to control Ottawa inside and out eventually led to the loss. Nova Scotia native 6’5″ Gage Sabean, a freshman who played at Horton H.S., knocked down 5 threes for the Gee-Gees, getting ample PT against the Panthers zone while 6’7″ Dut Dut had a 10 point, 10 rebound double double for UPEI, which also got 16 points and 9 rebounds from 6’6″ Milorad Sedlarevic.
Gee-Gees now take on the winner of St. FX/Acadia in the championship semi-final tomorrow night at DalPlex as the 25th Shoveller continues.