By Earl Zukerman
Nathan Joyal of St. Lazare, Que., came off the bench to score a game-high 22 points as the McGill Redmen galloped past the Ottawa Gee-Gees to capture the men’s division of the 18th annual Redbird Classic basketball tournament at Love Competition Hall, Sunday.
It was the fifth straight win for the Redmen, who improved to 5-2 overall, including a 4-0 record against CIS opponents. It also marked the first time that McGill had won their own tourney since last accomplishing the feat in 2007. McGill opened the tourney on Friday with an easy 80-59 win over the Laurier Golden Hawks and waltzed to a 93-71 decision over Trinity Western University from Langley, B.C.
Ottawa led 19-14 after the opening quarter but McGill overwhelmed the Gee-Gees 33-7 in the second stanza to take a commanding 47-26 lead into halftime. The Redmen shot an impressive 48.4 per cent from the floor, a stunning 78.6 from beyond the arc (11/14) and 75.0 from the line. Ottawa shot 40.4, 38.1 and 58.8, respectively.
Joyal, a 6-foot-6, political science sophomore, was one of two Redmen to make the all-tournament team. He saw only 20 minutes of court time but made the most of it, shooting 7-for-10 from the field, including a spectacular 6-or-6 performance from three-point range and a 2-for-4 effort from the free-throw line. Over the three games, Joyal tallied 33 points and a team-high 17 rebounds.
Montrealer Adrian Hynes-Guery, a first-year transfer from American International College, was one of five Redmen to reach double figures in scoring with 14 points. The 25-year-old physical education major was named tournament MVP after registering 51 points over the weekend, with nine rebounds, 10 assists and four steals. He shot 30.6 per cent from the floor (11/37), went 3-for-8 from beyond the arc and connected on a sizzling 94.7 per cent from the line (18/19).
Rounding out the all-tourney team were Gee-Gees teammates Gabriel Gonthier-Dubue and Johnny Berhanemeskel, plus Mark Perrin from the Trinity Western Spartans.
The Redmen will head west to the RBC Brock Classic in St. Catharines, Ont., Oct. 26-28, where they are slated to play Queen’s, Brock and Regina, respectively.