AROUND OUA: Ravens win top-five thriller with Rams

(Photo: Valerie Wutti)
(Photo: Valerie Wutti)

SCOREBOARD

Ryerson 77 @ Carleton 82

Toronto 54 @ Ottawa 74

York 60 @ Queen's 70

Waterloo 62 @ Lakehead 66

Laurentian 87 @ Algoma 64

Ravens win top-five thriller with Rams

OTTAWA, ON — In their closest game of the season to date, the Carleton Ravens men's basketball team edged out the Ryerson Rams, 82-77, for their 18th win in a row, moving one win away from a perfect regular season.

BOX SCORE

The last time these two teams met was at last year's OUA championship game, where the Rams took the hard-fought victory. The Ravens got their revenge on Friday night against the fifth-ranked team in the nation in the Rams, who walked away from the Ravens' Nest with just their second loss of the season.

Kaza Kajami-Keane (Ajax, ON) was the high man for the Ravens, scoring 21 points, including two triples, to lead his team to the win.

Adika Peter-McNeilly opened up the game with a quick layup off the tip and Ryerson rushed out to a quick 11-2 lead to start the game, which no doubt came at a shock for a Ravens crowd used to seeing their team dominate from the get-go. Marcus Anderson (Brampton, ON) made the first of his two triples in the opening quarter to stop the run, and some strong play by the Ravens saw them retake the lead by the end of the first.

Down 17-15 going into the second, Ryerson opened the quarter with a triple by Myles Charvis, giving the Rams a one point lead. Joe Rocca (Sarnia, ON) immediately answered on the other end with his first triple of the night, and the Ravens regained the lead, which they kept for the remainder of the half. The Rams did not give up easy, however, and they were within four points of the Ravens throughout the entirety of the quarter, thanks to Charvis' 8 points in the second. The Ravens walked into halftime with just a 35-32 lead, after Filip Vujadinovic ended the half with a Rams triple.

Kajami-Keane led all scorers in the half with 12 points, but the Ravens had 12 turnovers in the first two quarters and shot just 37.5% from the line, two key reasons for their unspectacular first-half performance.

Adika Peter-McNeilly immediately tied up the game to open up the third quarter, but the Ravens answered yet again, this time with a jumper by Ryan Ejim (Toronto, ON). Ammanuel Diressa of the Rams proceeded to go on a personal 8-0 run, giving the Rams the lead and control of the game for most of the third. However, a Rocca triple with under two minutes left in the third put the Ravens back up by one, and they ended the quarter up 56-55, their closest margin going into the fourth all year.

The Ravens kept the lead throughout the fourth quarter, even going up by double digits at one point. The Rams kept fighting, and five straight points for Diressa late in the fourth put the Rams within two points with just 47 seconds left in the game. Kajami-Keane iced the game the next possession with a nice move in the lane however, and the Ravens survived to claim their 18th win of the campaign.

Kajami-Keane added four boards and two assists for the Ravens, a solid performance for Carleton's fifth-year floor general. Joe Rocca had another great game off the bench, hitting four triples en route to his 15 points. Connor Wood (Guelph, ON) and Anderson also finished in double figures for the Ravens, adding 11 and 12 points, respectively. The Ravens shot 52.5% from the field and 44% from deep throughout the game, showcasing their dynamic offence against one of the top defensive teams in the nation.

The Rams were led by guard Ammanuel Diressa who scored 26 points to lead all scorers, 12 of which came at the charity stripe. Adika Peter-McNeilly and Myles Charvis both added 14 points each for the Rams, but they were unable to overcome the depth of the Ravens squad, getting outrun in the fourth quarter.

The Ravens will play their final game of the OUA regular season tomorrow night, welcoming the University of Toronto Varsity Blues to the Ravens Nest, along with a chance to close out the 2016-17 OUA season undefeated.

Source: Carleton Ravens

Ottawa's downtown hot hands top Toronto

The Gee-Gees men's basketball team saw two of its top three-point specialists put on a show en route to a 74-54 victory over the Toronto Varsity Blues on Friday night at Montpetit Hall. Fifth-year Matt Plunkett and rookie Gage Sabean each drained five three-pointers to lead the team's offensive efforts while the Ottawa defence held the Blues to their lowest point total of the season.

Three other Gee-Gees reached double-digit scoring while shooting 45 per cent as a team. Ottawa held a commanding 21-9 lead at the end of the first quarter and was similarly dominant in the second stanza, carrying a 37-17 lead into the half time break.

Jean Emmanuel Pierre-Charles owned the paint, swatting away shot attempts and collecting eight rebounds with three on the offensive end.

Toronto's offence woke up in the third while a zone defence approach threw off Ottawa. "Our guys were a little hesitant with that," said Gee-Gees head coach James Derouin. "Once the shooters realized they just had to catch and shoot, just do what they do, we were able to put the game out of reach."

The game opened up in the fourth, where Sabean kept the Gee-Gees firmly out in front by sinking three of his treys. 

Daniel Johansson totalled 11 points to lead the Blues with six coming in the first quarter. Toronto's season leader Devin Johnson was held to nine points but did grab a co-game-high of nine rebounds, as did Ottawa's Brody Maracle.

Source: uOttawa Gee-Gees

Singh nets 21 as Queen's tops Lions 70-60 in final regular season game

KINGSTON, Ont. (February 17, 2017)- Sukhpreet Singh tallied a game-high 21 points, and the Queen's Gaels men's basketball team picked up a crucial win in the playoff race in their final regular season match, topping the York Lions 70-60 at the Athletics and Recreation Centre (ARC) on Friday night.
 
Fifth-year seniors Singh and Richard Iheadindu were honoured before the beginning of Friday night's game for their contribution to the men's basketball program. Singh, who is the all-time points leader in Queen's men's basketball history, shot 9-of-13 from the field, and picked up eight rebounds and six assists, also a game-best. Isse Ibrahim added 12 points, while Tanner Graham added 10 points and nine rebounds for the Gaels who finish the season 7-12.
 
GAME FLOW
The Gaels jumped all over the Lions early, putting together a 9-3 lead through the first four minutes of the game. Graham (Kingston) set the tone with a steal and ensuing slam dunk after taking a pass in transition from Singh (Toronto). Ibrahim (Toronto) followed that up with a three-point play after a quick penetration to the bucket.
 
Nidun Chandrakumar knocked in two three-point baskets to help the Lions keep pace, and the Gaels offence suddenly went cold after their quick start. Chandrakumar's third three of the first quarter put the Lions ahead 11-9. Harry Range (Carp, Ont.) finally ended the Queen's shooting drought, which lasted a little over five minutes, by hitting a three, but the Lions held a one-point lead after the first.
 
Similar to the opening quarter, the Gaels were fast out of the gate in the second, putting together a 6-2 run that ended with a steal and nice transition passing play that was finished with a reverse lay-up from Ibrahim.
 
A corner three from Singh put the Gaels up by six. After York came to within three, the hosts caught fire, scoring the next 10 points to push their lead up to double-digits for the first time in the game. Singh and Russell Winters each accounted for two baskets along the way, which led to a timeout from the Lions. The men continued the play offensively, and as a result took a 41-27 lead into the halftime break.
 
Singh started the second half with a three-pointer and the Gaels looked strong at the beginning of the quarter for a third-straight time, building their lead up to 22. The Lions responded through the middle portion of the period, however, going on a 17-7 run to close out the third quarter that would cut the lead to 11 by the start of the fourth.
 
A quick Lions bucket brought the lead into single digits for the first time since the second quarter, and two-straight turnovers from the Gaels quickly prompted a timeout from head coach Steph Barrie.
 
The teams traded baskets after the break, with the hosts maintaining a nine-point lead with five minutes remaining in regulation. A three by Julio Vasquez cut the lead to eight, but Ibrahim responded with a lay-up from Singh, who then added two more points that put the game out of reach with a couple of minutes remaining.

FINAL SAY
"I thought certain guys did some really good things," said Barrie. "Our first half in terms of scoring was good; getting 40 in a half was needed. I think holding (York) to 60 definitely gave us a chance when our shooting wasn't as on as we would want it to be, our three-point shooting in particular. The teaching does not stop, though, we will continue our teaching to get the guys prepared for Wednesday's playoff game."
 
BY THE NUMBERS
49.2%- The Gaels shot 30-of-61 on Friday night, their third-highest efficiency in conference play
22- The Gaels largest lead of the match in the third quarter
25- Queen's picked up 25 points off of York's 21 turnovers
 
UP NEXT
The Gaels will wait for Saturday's games to complete before finding out their opponent for the first round of the OUA playoffs, which will take place on Wednesday.

Source: Queen's Gaels

Thunderwolves knock down Warriors

The Lakehead men's basketball team (6-12) beat the Waterloo Warriors (6-13), 66-62 in front of a full house tonight in the Thunderdome.

"Great team win tonight. We had some guys step up and make some big plays when we needed to. Really proud of how hard our guys competed and defended the second half." – Coach Furtado

The Thunderwolves struggled in the first half, only scoring 15 in the first quarter and 9 in the second. Lakehead found themselves down 12 in the middle of the second and were facing a 36-24 deficit going into the half.

The Thunderwolves turned it around in the third quarter, outscoring the Warriors 17-10.

Lakehead continued to chase the Warriors lead until Wais Mohamed hit a big three to tie the game followed by a steal and lay up that put the 'Wolves up 57-55 with 3 minutes remaining.

With 26 seconds left on the clock and the Warriors down 1, Waterloo had the possession in their court. Warrior Jon Ravenhorst drove to the basket, looking to draw the foul but Bacarius Dinkins took the Charge that gave the ball back to the Thunderwolves. Dinkins then sealed the deal with a lay up and-1 with two seconds remaining that left Lakehead with the 66-62 victory

Wais Mohamed was the top scorer for the 'Wolves with 15 points and Bacarius Dinkins was big with 14 points, 10 rebounds. Kache Kopec also scored 14 points and Alex Robichaud put up 10.

Another big game for the Thunderwolves tomorrow, as they take on the Laurier Golden Hawks at 8:00pm in the Thunderdome. The 'Wolves will be recognizing their graduating seniors before tip off.

Source: Lakehead Thunderwolves

Vees beat Thunderbirds in regular season finale

The Voyageurs Men's Basketball will head into their playoff game with a victory, defeating the Algoma Thunderbirds 87-64 in their final game of the regular season. The win lands the Vee's with a record of 9-10 on the season. The Voyageurs are locked into the #7 seed and will host a first round playoff game on Wednesday, February 22nd. 
After getting off to a slow start the Laurentian offense was able to right the ship en route to their 87 point outing. Early on, the team seemed to be a step behind in almost all facets of the game but the men found their footing and took over the game, outscoring the Thunderbirds in each of the final three quarters and out-rebounding Algoma 45-31 in the game.
After running into foul trouble in the first half, leading scorer Kadre Gray was able to put up another big scoring effort in the 2nd half. Hard drives to the hoop led to Gray taking 14 free throws, knocking down 13 of them, leading to a game high 30 points.
For the Thunderbirds it was weak shooting from the field and the stripe, 34.2% and 58.3% respectively, that plagued them in the contest.
 
Going into the playoffs, the Vee's will need to compliment Gray's scoring with tenacious defense and good ball distribution if they hope to make a deep run to the OUA Final Four.
As of writing this article, Laurentian would host the Laurier Golden Hawks in the first round, however, if Laurier falls to Lakehead tomorrow night, it will be the Queen's Gaels coming to the Ben Avery.  Regardless of their opponent, the Voyageurs will open the playoffs on Wednesday night with tip-off scheduled for 8pm.

Source: Laurentian Voyageurs