By Charles Vanegas
The Ottawa Gee-Gees will play for the Wilson Cup after handedly beating the Windsor Lancers 78-58 on Friday night at the Mattamy Athletic Centre.
One year removed from knee surgery, fifth-year guard Warren Ward put on a performance for the ages — finishing with 26 points on 11 for 14 shooting (including 4-5 from the three-point line), to go with his 8 rebounds and 6 assists.
“I like to play in these [big] games and I consider myself one of the elite players here,” said Ward, who was recently named a first-team OUA all-star.
After a trailing by just two at the end of the first quarter, the Lancers struggled to compete — shooting just 29.3% from the floor, and having no solution for Ward and fellow first-team all-star Johnny Berhanemeskel, who had 21 points of his own — with 13 coming in the fourth quarter. OUA West MVP Lien Phillip had 19 points and 10 rebounds for the Lancers, but also had 6 turnovers.
“In the second half we just came out flat. They took advantage of it,” said Windsor guard Enrico Diloreto, who had 16 points and 5 rebounds. “They were hitting everything [and] we didn’t respond at all.”
The Gee-Gees’ win sets up an all-Ottawa final, with Ottawa moving on to face the top-ranked Carleton Ravens, who beat Lakehead 72-51 in the other semi-final. This is just weeks after the Ravens and Gee-Gees played in arguably the most exciting game of the OUA season, a 111-107 Carleton victory decided in triple overtime.
“They beat us in triple overtime in our own gym, so to beat them here and get the number one seed going into nationals would be monumental. I’m real excited,” said Ward. “Coming in here, I thought that’d be the final anyway. It’s perfect.
The Lancers can still earn a spot in the CIS National Championships with a win tomorrow in the bronze medal game (4 p.m. at the MAC) against Lakehead.
The championship game is set for 6 p.m.