Ravens leave no doubt in route over Gee-Gees


Carleton (16-0, 10-0) 81, Ottawa (18-2, 9-1) 40... Ravens dominated from start to finish, locking up Gee-Gees defensively both inside and out, giving up maybe a small handful of open looks all night, and holding Ottawa to a ridiculous 30 points in the first 38 minutes of the game in an old fashioned beat-down at Montpetit Hall.  Things didn’t go well for the home-side even before the opening tip-off as a substitute public address announcer (Gee-Gees “voice” Richard Provencher was doing Rogers TV play-by-play) introduced just 4 of the 5 Gee-Gees starters, excluding 6’3″ Caleb Agada from the traditional roll call and the faux pas turned into a foreshadowing of things to come.  Ottawa missed 19 of their first 20 shots from the floor – virtually all were well contested and, after a tough start, Ravens 6’4″ Connor Wood went to work with 16 first-half points and combined with 6’2″ Kaza Keene to knock down 3’s on the final 4 possessions of the half as Carleton led by 18 going to halftime.  As has been their defensive plan all season long, Gee-Gees switched all ball screens and Carleton then typically found the right match-up for either Wood or Keene, flattened out and allowed their dynamic guards to create or finish.  Ravens then went on a 22-6 run off the start of the third quarter to push the lead to 34.  Early third quarter highlights included a pair of thunderous dunks by 6’10” Eddie Ekiyor, including a highlight reel finish in transition when he caught a pass on the left wing at the three point line and hammered it home after a single dribble – I don’t recall any 6’10” CIAU/CIS/U-Sport big man ever showing off that level of athleticism.  Ekiyor also clearly won the battle defensively inside against Gee-Gees 6’9″ Jean Pierre-Charles, who shot just 3 for 11 for 7 points.  Fellow 6’7″ post Brody Maracle, another transfer from Carleton, was held scoreless in 28 minutes, led by the solid work of Ekiyor, 6’7″ Ryan Ejim and 6’5″ Mitch Wood, who returned to action for Carleton after sitting out this past weekend with a hip flexor.  Gee-Gees shot just 21% for the game and just 6 of 26 from downtown, a stat highly padded by 6’5″ Brandon Robinson (team-high 15 points) who made 3 meaningless threes in a row in the final 3 minutes.  Ottawa turned it over 18 times – it seemed like more – and got only 12 points from Agada, who shot 3-14 and turned it over 5 times.  6’2″ Adam Presutti, playing in his first Carleton/Ottawa game, struggled from the onset, missing a couple of reasonably open looks and was held scoreless.   6’6″ Matt Plunkett went 1-7 from 3 for three points.  Wood had 16 of his team-high 19 before halftime including a ice-cold three in front of the Ottawa bench with Pierre-Charles closing out on him and several high-end twisting, back pivot turnarounds in the lane – he has become a versatile, ingenious scorer around the rim.  Keene, 6’4″ Marcus Anderson and 6’6″ T.J. Lall added 10 apiece while 6’4″ Joe Rocca, after a bit of a tough start, culminated the third quarter rally with back-to-back transition 3’s from the left baseline as the Ravens turned it on, repeatedly beating the Gee-Gees up the floor to lead by as many as 44 points.  Anderson was also very strong guarding Agada, especially on the perimeter as Gee-Gees main creator and decision-maker was held in check all evening.  Several long-time observers – regardless of program allegiance – were heard whispering that this may be the deepest and best Carleton team ever.  Tonight it definitely appeared that way as Ravens locked up what had been up to now arguably the #1 team in U-Sport men’s basketball and, after a rough start, shredded Ottawa’s top-rated “d”, especially in transition.  The teams meet again in early February at 11th Annual MBNA Capital Hoops Classic at Ottawa’s Canadian Tire Center.

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