Dele slices and dices as No.3 Redmen utilize treys to trim Laval and remain undefeated in college hoops
MONTREAL -- Dele Ogundokun of Hamilton, Ont., registered a "double-double" as No.3-ranked McGill outlasted Laval 82-80, extending their perfect record to 4-0 in RSEQ men's basketball before a raucous crowd at Love Competition Hall, Saturday.
The event was billed as the Bell NBA All-star Challenge and featured an appearance by NBA legend Dikembe Mutombo, in town to promote the 2016 NBA all-star weekend, which will be hosted by the Toronto Raptors on Valentine's Day.
McGill's first five baskets were all three-pointers in a game that featured a whopping 27 treys. The Redmen produced a spectacular 16-for-37 performance from beyond the arc, while the Rouge et Or shot an equally impressive 11-for-29. Although records are incomplete, according to the Quebec conference website, the most three-pointers ever made by one team in an RSEQ game was 17 by Laval in a 100-79 win over Bishop's, Feb. 5, 2011.
In a contest that featured seven lead changes, Laval came out of the first quarter with a 21-20 advantage and maintained a 35-34 edge at halftime. McGill outscored the Rouge et Or 24-20 in the third stanza to take a 58-55 lead into a wild final quarter, which Laval won 25-24.
"That team's a very good one," said McGill head coach David DeAveiro of the Laval squad, which dropped to 1-3 in the standings. "I mean they're about 10 points away from having a 4-0 record. They've been in every game they've played and every time we were making a run, they hit a big shot to get back in the game... We were shorthanded without (injured guards) Jawara Pedican and Andrew Peterson but battled and found a way to win today. We couldn't go to our bench as much as we would've liked but you know, we made some big shots too. It was a game of one big shot, followed by another. We just had one more big shot or maybe one more key rebound than they did."
The Redmen, who lead the nation in offensive rebounds, had a 41-27 rebounding advantage in the game, including a 14-8 margin under the offensive boards.
Ogundokun, a 6-foot-2, 205-pound junior guard who played all 40 minutes, posted career-highs in points (23), rebounds (15) and treys (5). He shot 7-for-16 from the floor, including a solid 5-for-12 from three-point range. The third-year management major also drained four of six attempts from the free-throw line, made one steal and collected a pair of assists.
"Dele came out strong and was very good today," said DeAveiro, who improved his record to 107-79 overall in six seasons at McGill and 317-79 in 15 years as a bench boss in the CIS. "Towards the end, he made some mistakes that he wouldn't normally make but he was tired. We couldn't afford to take him off the floor today so he played the full 40 and was tremendous."
Three teammates also reached double digits in scoring -- Jenning Leung (21), Tychon Carter-Newman (11) and Noah Daoust (10). Team captain Vincent Dufort, who left the game in the second quarter with an apparent ankle sprain, returned with a hobbling gait in the second half and just missed posting a double-double, with eight points and 10 rebounds. He was also credited with a game-high five assists and a steal.
Leung, the starting point-guard who saw 37 minutes of court-time, matched Ogundokun in three-pointers, shooting 5-for-10 from beyond the arc. He was 7-for-15 on the day, went 2-for-4 from the line and hit the trifecta in rebounds, steals and assists with three in each category.
"You know what, Jenning's worked his butt off to get where he is, so nothing surprises me about his play," said DeAveiro of the 20-year-old psychology junior from the Philippines. "His teammates know he can do a really good job, so they're getting the ball to him in good situations, where he can get some really good shots. I'd like to see him finish around the rim a little more -- he could've had more than 21 points -- but that's something we can work on. He's a gamer, likes to play. He's good and not afraid to take a big shot."
For Laval, Alexandre Leclerc matched Ogundokun's offensive production with 23 points, while teammates Thibaud Dezutter and John-Fitzgerald Metayer added 17 apiece. Karl Demers-Belanger, who also played the entire game without a respite, collected nine points.
The Redmen shot a solid 43.9 per cent from the field (29/66) but a somewhat disappointing 57.1 from the line (8/14), compared to Laval, which shot 44.3 and 65.2, respectively, making 27 of 61 and 15 of 23.
It was the final game of the semester for McGill, which improved their stellar record to 11-1 against CIS opponents overall. The Redmen now get a five-week break for exams and holidays before resuming their schedule with a non-conference game at Queen's (6-1) in Kingston, Ont., Jan. 9 at 4 p.m.
The Rouge et Or are off until the end of the month, when they host a post-Christmas tournament with Ottawa, UNB and Calgary, Dec. 28-30.
REDMEN RAP: The Denver Nuggets Dance Pack cheerleaders and Rocky, their team mascot were in attendance for the extravaganza, which was coordinated by NBA Canada... Andrew Treffeisen, a McGill student who previously played basketball for Champlain College in south shore St. Lambert, won a three-point shooting contest at halftime and was one of three finalists in contention for an all-expenses paid trip to the 65th annual NBA all-star contest, slated for Feb. 14... After the game, the Redmen posed for an impromptu team photo with the 7-foot-2 Dikembe Mutombo, who retired in 2009 after 18 seasons in the NBA... Mutombo is one of two NBA players to wear size 22 shoes, the largest basketball shoes ever worn in the league, (the other player being Shaquille O'Neal)... Two Redmen fouled out in the frantic final minute of play, namely Tychon Carter-Newman and Noah Daoust... McGill's Francois Bourque and Laval'sDaniel Mutanda were each assessed a technical foul during a minor skirmish near the McGill bench... Former Redmen forward Rodrigo Imperador, who graduated last spring, was spotted at the bench after the game, catching up with his old teammates.