Mac looks for Diaby, Gacic to double again in OUA basketball

One and done time continues in Ontario University Athletics men’s basketball, with four sudden-death playoff games today (Feb. 28). Following a bye in the opening round, the No. 1 nationally-ranked Carleton Ravens, No. 3 Ottawa Gee-Gees, No. 4 Western Mustangs and No. 8 Windsor Lancers make their post-season debuts on home court.

The Ravens (21-1) host the York Lions (8-15), who upset the Ryerson Rams in a 71-69 road victory in the opening round of the playoffs on Wednesday. The Lions have an incredible task in front of them, as the Ravens have not lost on home court since Jan. 27, 2007 and are on a 21-game winning streak.

York fifth-year guard Tut Ruach (Mississauga) scored a team-high 22 points against the Rams. He had 408 points during the regular season, good for fourth in OUA. Freshman guards David Tyndale (Mississauga) and John Lafontaine (Whitby) combined for 26 points at Ryerson.

The Ravens have many weapons at their disposal. Senior guard Stuart Turnbull (Kingston) averaged 16.7 points per game during the regular season. Another senior, forward Aaron Doornekamp (Odessa) averaged 14.4 points per game while averaging seven rebounds. The Ravens won both regular season meetings against the Lions by margins of 17 and 22 points.

The Gee-Gees (19-3) contend with the Toronto Varsity Blues (16-7). Toronto easily handled the Queen’s Gaels at home 63-48 in its opening playoff game. The Gee-Gees won both regular season meetings against the Varsity Blues by identical 80-72 scores.

A pair of Varsity Blues earned double-doubles against the Gaels. Fourth-year forwards Ahmed Nazmi (Cairo, Egypt) had 14 points and 11 rebounds, while Nick Snow (London) contributed 15 rebounds and 11 points.

The Gee-Gees have two excellent rebounders in fourth-year guard Josh Gibson-Bascombe (Toronto) who averaged 6.8 boards a game, and senior centre Dax Dessureault (Embrun) whose average was 6.7. Gibson-Bascombe was second in OUA in steals with 49 and sixth in scoring averaging 17.6 points per game.

The Waterloo Warriors (11-12) visit the Mustangs (19-3). The Warriors also won on the road to advance to the quarter-final round with a 71-63 win over the Guelph Gryphons. Fifth-year forward Dan White (Waterloo) scorched the Gryphons for 25 points, missing out on a double-double by just one rebound. Third-year forward Alan Goodhoofd (Oakville) and second-year guard Cam McIntyre (Waterloo) contributed 12 points each.

Western’s biggest threat is senior forward Bradley Smith (Churchill) who was fifth in OUA in average points per game at 18.3. Fourth-year forward Keenan Jeppesen (Stoney Creek) is one of the top rebounders in the conference, averaging 9.1 during the regular season. The Mustangs swept the two-game regular season series against the Warriors.

In the fourth OUA quarter-final game – 5 p.m. in Windsor – the Lancers (15-7) entertain the McMaster Marauders (14-9). The Marauders defeated the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks 56-48 on home court in their opening playoff game. Fourth-year centre Mouctar Diaby (Hamilton) and fifth-year forward Marko Gacic (Hamilton) each earned double-doubles in the victory.

McMaster will have to contend with fifth-year forward Greg Surmacz (Peterborough) who was third in scoring averaging 19.7 points per game, and fifth in rebounding with 7.6 per game. The Lancers are strong from beyond the arc, as third-year forward Issac Kuon (Mississauga) and third-year guard Monty Hardware (Toronto) average better than 45 percent on their three-point attempts.

The Marauders and Lancers split their two games during the regular season, with McMaster needing overtime to pull out an 80-71 win on its home court on Jan. 14. The Lancers needed every basket to pull out a 76-74 win at Windsor on Feb. 4.

The winners of the quarter-final games advance to their respective division finals scheduled for Wednesday, March 4.