The Carleton Ravens took on the Valparaiso Crusaders on Thursday night at the Ravens' Nest. Carleton had a strong performance as they defeated the Crusaders, 77-59. The fans were provided with entertainment on both ends of the floor.
After last week's disappointing 63-59 loss against Murray State, the team came out firing against Valparaiso. The team went 5 of 7 from deep, ending the first quarter with a 25-12 lead. The Ravens kept up the momentum in the 2nd quarter. Carleton shot 58% from the field while assisting on twelve of their field goals. Carleton's 5th year senior guard, Gavin Resch, was the high scoring man at the half with 9 points. The Ravens led 43-30 at the break.
Defensively, the Ravens forced the Crusaders to use up the majority of their shot clock on multiple offensive possessions, while also preventing them from getting easy looks at the basket.
The fourth quarter was a defensive battle as Carleton and Valparaiso managed only 13 points total. Despite the Ravens low scoring in the final stanza, the team made 12 three-point shots to keep a comfortable margin. Connor Wood, Carleton's fourth-year veteran, led the team in scoring for the second straight Can-Am Shootout contest with a game high of 19 points.
The 2014-15 CIS champions outscored the reigning Horizon League champions 21-16 in the 3rd, finishing the quarter with a 64-46 lead. While 2014-15 Horizon League Defensive Player of the Year Vashil Fernandez saw no floor time during the basketball game, he was called into action to help fix a piece of dislodged protective covering on the backboard.
Cameron Smythe was 2 points shy of a double-double, finishing with 8 points and 10 rebounds. Smythe was solid on the glass and he also had a massive block in the first quarter. Ravens veteran Guillaume Boucard made a big contribution in the win, scoring 17 points. Kaza Kajami-Keane was dishing dimes and making key offensive plays while contributing 7 points and 8 assists.
After the game, coach Rob Smart spoke highly of Boucard and the Ravens. "Guillaume battled really hard all game and covered their best players as well. All of our guards had strong moments. Overall, I was very happy about how our young guys stepped up. If we can do that consistently, we'll be tough."
While Carleton played well, Rob Smart still feels like there are plenty of improvements to make. "We're still a new team. We'll go on a run and the young players get kind of wide-eyed. It was a little bit better [than last week], but we still have quite a few breakdowns to correct," reflected Smart.
Valparaiso was led by red-shirt junior, Shane Hammink. The Dutch import had a team-high 14 points as well as 6 rebounds in twenty-five minutes of playing time.
Source: Carleton Ravens