For the second consecutive season, Carleton Ravens and Ryerson Rams will meet for the OUA Wilson Cup championship, this time at the Raven’s Nest after Ryerson’s dramatic come-from-behind, one-point win over Ottawa Gee-Gees last night. Carleton advanced with a solid victory over Brock Badgers, who were in the game until midway through the fourth quarter. Recall last season, Rams captured their first-ever Wilson Cup championship with a home-court win over the Ravens in the 2016 championship game played at the Mattamy Center in Toronto. Tonight’s game comes on the heels of a very competitive Rams/Ravens match two weeks ago – also at the Raven’s Nest – won by Carleton and which ended as a two possession game.
Ryerson 76, Ottawa 75… 6’5″ fifth-year senior wing forward Juwan Grannum capped a late fourth-quarter rally with winning bucket in the final minute and the Rams held tough on the final possession as Ryerson qualified for their second consecutive Final 8 and third in the past four seasons. In another dramatic, classic game that have become commonplace between these two U-Sport powers, both teams dug in defensively while shooting the ball extremely well (both teams made >40% of their threes). Ottawa led by 6 late but, unlike usual Ottawa possessions, the ball began to stick and Rams were equal to it as 6’6″ freshman Keevon Small, who had the finest game of his young Rams career, followed a three by Gee-Gees 6’3″ all-star Caleb Agada with a clutch three of his own with under 4 minutes to play, starting an 8-1 run that got Ryerson the lead late. After Agada’s pair of free throws with about 1 minute remaining allowed Ottawa to retake a one-point lead, Grannum made his clutch jumper and Rams survived. Agada led all scorers with 24 points adding 5 rebounds and 5 assists in another All-Canadian performance while 6’4″ Ammanuel Diressa was again Ryerson’s best overall player with 20 points while Small added a career-high 18 and Grannum 15. 6’9″ Jean Pierre-Charles battled foul trouble all night for Ottawa, playing just 20 minutes and finishing with 4 points including just 2-6 from the foul line. 6’6″ fifth-year wing Matt Plunkett knocked down 5 threes for Ottawa to finish with 15 points. Gee-Gees must defeat Brock Badgers tonight and then hope for a favorable “at-large” berth announcement on Sunday night to continue their string of four consecutive appearances at the Final 8.
Carleton 89, Brock 64… In a game that was closer than the final score indicated, Ravens pulled away late with a superlative effort on the defensive glass, holding star 6’7″ Dani Elgadi without a field goal in a win that clinched another nationals appearance for #1 ranked Carleton. Carleton dominated the glass at 47-23 and held Brock’s starters to a collective 6 for 26 from the floor including only 2 for 10 from three. 6’2″ Kaza Kajami-Keane had 14 of his 25 points in the second half, breaking it open late after Badgers did a strong job on the slick point guard for the first 3 1/2 quarters or so. 6’4″ Marcus Anderson was tasked with slowing down Brock’s electric 6’5″ Johneil Simpson, who had 24 points off the bench for Brock including 5 for 8 from downtown in another strong effort against the Ravens. Anderson matched Simpson, also going 5 for 8 from downtown including several momentum-changing threes. Anderson finished with 19 points and 12 rebounds as Carleton shot 14 for 36 from downtown. OUA POY 6’4″ Connor Wood broke through for 10 of his 15 points after halftime as the fine shooting guard appeared to be the focus of Brock defensively. In the end, Badgers missed too many open shots and were dominated on the glass by a more physical Ravens group but still were in the game until late. Carleton goes for their 10th ever Wilson Cup championship tonight against Ryerson while Brock tries to improve their fleeting wild card chances this afternoon against Ottawa in the Bronze medal game.