Ravens stymy Voyageurs’ offence in the second half to reach Wilson Cup semifinal

Photo by Valerie Wutti
Photo by Valerie Wutti

OTTAWA, Ont. – The Ravens faced a determined Voyageurs squad, who entered the Ravens' Nest without the services of their regular season leading scorer in Kadre Gray. Laurentian kept pace with Carleton for two quarters before falling to the Ravens 83-69 in front of a passionate hometown crowd.

Third-year guard Yasiin Joseph (Ottawa, ON) turned in an efficient performance, scoring 26 points, including making 9-of-11 from the free throw line. Joseph earned a double-double by handing out 10 assists and snagging three steals.

Laurentian opened the season with an impressive 16-2 record, but stumbled into the Wilson Cup Playoffs thanks to five straight losses. The Voyageurs were able to earn a close opening round win against the University of Toronto and entered Saturday night action with an aggressive mindset. After a finger roll by Joseph in traffic put Laurentian in an early 13-6 hole, the Voyageurs responded with a 4-0 spurt courtesy of two free throws from Anthony Iacoe and a layup by OJ Watson. Iacoe hit a pull up jump shot with 54 seconds left in the quarter to keep the Voyageurs close at 19-17.

Both teams continued to take aim at each others' interior defence in the second quarter. Watson finished off a vicious put-back dunk to bring Laurentian to within a single point one minute into the frame. Sophomore forward Eddie Ekiyor (Ottawa, ON) kept Carleton ahead by hitting a short jumper and finishing in traffic with a layup on the next few possessions. But each time the Ravens tried to break ahead, Watson or Theo Thomas were there to bring Laurentian back within three points. A three-pointer by Iacoe gave Laurentian a one-point lead, but fifth-year forward Cam Smythe (Vancouver, BC) got Carleton back on track with a three before Joseph scored on a strong drive to support a 39-36 lead at halftime.

Back-to-back threes from Smythe and guard Marcus Anderson (Brampton, ON) helped Carleton add to its lead to begin the third quarter. Nelson Yengue, Laurentian's second-leading scorer during the regular season, was held scoreless in the first-half. A layup by Yengue brought the Voyageurs back to within 48-44, but again Joseph was there with a short turnaround jumper to respond. Carleton entered the fourth with a double-digit lead after Watson cut the score to 56-46 with a fadeaway jump shot.

The pace of play opened up in the fourth quarter as Laurentian attempted to stage its final comeback attempt. Few things seemed to be going the Voyageurs' way as Sam Ivey checked into the game for the first-time and hit what was believed to be a three-pointer, which would have cut the deficit to 12. However, it was ruled that his foot was on the line, thus rendering his tally worth two points. Fourth-year guard Mitch Wood (Guelph, ON) hit a three seconds later and Carleton's lead grew to 65-49. Watson completed an and-one to bring Laurentian to within 13 points once more, but with less than 70 seconds left to play, it was too late, as the Ravens nursed the lead before the buzzer announced the 83-69 win.

Source: Carleton Ravens

More Than An Exhibition
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