The Laurentian Voyageurs avenged their defeat in the last week of 2019 against the fourth-best team in the nation, the Ottawa Gee-Gees, on Friday night, as they welcomed the new decade with a bang, winning the encounter by a score of 78-65.
The Voyageurs started strong, outscoring their opponents 20-14 in the first quarter on 47.1% shooting while restricting their opponents to just 35.1% shooting. They ended the quarter on a 9-0 run and were led by Kadre Gray with seven points and Haroun Mohamed with five points. On the other hand, the Gee-Gees were led by Marlon Kordostami with six points and Thomas Chilton with four points.
The second quarter did not fare much better for the Gee-Gees either. They were outscored 20-12 and the Voyageurs' defence came to life. They restricted their opponents to just 29.4% shooting, while they shot 47.1% themselves. Gray and Joseph Hlady both scored six points and the rookie Cedric Nga Mbiaba rose to the occasion and added four points of his own to put some considerable distance between themselves and the Gee-Gees. The first half came to an end with the score line set at 40-26 in favour for the Voyageurs.
In the third quarter however, the Gee-Gees mounted a comeback of sorts. They outscored the Voyageurs by 21-18 and reduce the Voyageur lead to 11 at the quarter's conclusion. Towards the end of the quarter, they in fact went on a 17-6 run which in large parts helped them close the gap to 11 points. They shot 42.9% from the field while restricting the Voyageurs to 40.0% shooting. The Gee-Gees were led by Guillaume Pepin with six points and Thomas Chilton with five points whereas the Voyageurs were led by Gray with eight points and five other teammates with two points each. The score read 58-47 in favour of the Voyageurs.
The fourth quarter was a tantalizing one. The Voyageurs stretched their lead to as much as 14 points but the Gee-Gees would refuse to waive the flag as they would claw back and reduce the lead to eight points with 3:47 minutes left in the match. However, efforts from Sam Ivey and Gray would stretch the lead back up to 14 points and from that point on the Voyageurs would not look back. With 1:55 minutes left in the match, Gray put the stamp on the game with an emphatic dunk to seal the victory by a margin of 13 points as the final score read 78-65.
It was a monumental night for Sebastian Boissevain who scored his first OUA/Canadian University points. He reflected on his long journey to this point and the jubilations felt when the ball went through the bucket from his hand for the first time: "It felt great. I've gone through so much like transferring from school in the states and getting hurt, being ineligible in my first semester and getting hurt and getting hurt again and now finally getting my first point, it felt great!"
The Voyageurs are looking forward to their rematch against the best team in the nation tomorrow, where they will prove that they are indeed, a force to be reckoned with this year in the playoffs. Boissevian said the following about his team's mindset about tomorrow's matchup:"The first game against them was not representative of how good we are and how we can play against them but we are excited to play against them."
The nationally ninth ranked Voyageurs will now take on the Juggernaut, the best team in the country, the Carleton Ravens tomorrow at 8 pm at Ben Avery Gymnasium.