Daoust and Dele dominate, as McGill cagers reach record-setting century mark
Noah Daoust scored 24 points off the bench and Dele Ogundokun added 20 more as No.7 ranked McGill licked Laval 103-81 in RSEQ men's basketball at Love Competition Hall, Thursday.
It marked the fourth time this season that the Redmen had reached the 100-point plateau in regular season play, a single-season school record. McGill now ranks second in the nation in offence, averaging 91.5 points per game. The defence ain't too shabby either and is ranked third in the country, allowing just 67.8 points per game.
"We won every quarter and got stronger as the game wore on. We've changed our style of play and we're trying to score 100 every game," admitted head coach David DeAveiro, who improved to 160-106 in 266 games overall behind the McGill bench since he took over the helm eight years ago. "Our style is focussed on getting up more shots than our opponent. And with our pressure defence, we try to create turnovers and score off them."
McGill forced a whopping 21 turnovers in the game, including 10 steals. They are now ranked second among all U SPORTS teams in that department with an average of 12.8 steals per game, which trails only Lethbridge's 13.3 average.
The game featured 11 lead changes, all of them early on. The Redmen, who sustained a 44-34 edge in rebounding, led 23-20 after the first quarter and took a 48-37 lead into halftime. They came out firing on all cylinders after the intermission, outscoring Laval 30-22 in the third and 25-22 in the final stanza.
"Laval came out prepared, aggressive and confident in what they were doing," said DeAveiro. "We didn't respond early enough but I thought we took their best punch real early, responded and still won the first quarter. Then we took their best punch again in the fourth quarter (with a 12-2 run)... a five-minute stretch where we couldn't score any points and we couldn't stop Laval and they cut the gap down to nine (at 80-71). That was good for us to go through something like that and respond the way we did."
Daoust tallied his 24 points -- with just 25 minutes of court-time -- on 8-for-12 shooting from the floor, including a deadly 4-for-7 performance from the three-point arc. He added a game-high nine rebounds and one steal.
"We've always (been more concerned with) his consistency, not his ability," offered DeAveiro. "He's been playing really well the last couple of games and is displaying what he's capable of doing for us."
Ogundokun shot 7-for-14, with a 4-for-8 effort from long distance, and was 2-for-3 from the line. He also collected seven rebounds, four assists and a pair of steals.
"Dele struggled early on because he was playing way too fast but in the second half, he slowed things down and took control," noted DeAveiro. "When we were struggling to score in the fourth quarter, he made some big shots, hit back-to-back threes that kind of broke their backs and their spirit. He's a fifth-year guy and those are the type of things that we expect from Dele and he's capable of doing that."
The dynamic duo was among four Redmen to reach double digits in scoring, along with point-guard Alex Paquin (14) and veteran forward Francois Bourque (10).
Sam Jenkins made his fifth career start and pocketed eight points in just 13 minutes of floor time.
McGill's bench almost doubled Laval's subs, holding a 44-23 advantage in scoring.
Jenning Leung, who is still hampered by a hand injury, came off the bench to add eight points as well. Rounding out the Redmen scoring was Sebastian Beckett (7). Daniel Pieper (6), Avery Cadogan (4) and Greg Trahan (2).
Frantson Demosthene led the Rouge et Or with 22 points, buttressed by teammates Joel Muamba (12) and Alexandre Leclerc (10).
The Redmen shot 45.8 per cent from the field making 38 of 83 attempted shots. The 83 attempts matched the single-game school record, also set against Laval, earlier this season.
McGill connected on 39.5 per cent from three-point range (15/38) and 75.0 from the line (12/16). Laval replied with shooting percentages of 46.3 (31/67), 15.0 (3/20) and 55.2 (16/29), respectively.
McGill, which has won seven of their last eight games, now leads the RSEQ conference with a 9-2 record and only five contests remaining before post-season play. With the loss, Laval dropped into third place at 6-4, behind second-place Concordia, which improved to 7-4 after outlasting UQAM 94-90.
McGill and Laval have two more meetings scheduled. They will resume hostilities in Quebec City on Saturday at 8 p.m. and are slated to have a return engagement in the provincial capital on Feb. 22.
REDMEN RAP: Just before the opening tipoff, Redmen head coach David DeAveiro and Martlet bench boss Ryan Thorne, payed tribute to Rachele Beliveau, head coach of the Martlet volleyball program. They presented her with a bouquet of flowers and a framed photo recognizing Beliveau's milestone 600th career victory, accomplished last weekend.
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