Men’s Final 8
Halifax (U SPORTS) – The No. 3-seeded Carleton Ravens are heading to the 2023 U SPORTS Men's Final 8 championship game following an exciting 81-75 win over the No. 2 Ottawa Gee-Gees. Leading the way for the Ravens was first-team All-Canadian Aiden Warnholtz, with 21 points, seven rebounds, and 10 assists, which earned him Nike Top Performer honours for his squad.
Both teams had tough defence on display early on, with the game remaining close in the first quarter. Carleton's Warnholtz had eight points in the first stanza, while Ottawa's Drogan Stajic hit a pair of three pointers off the bench. A pair of free throws for Ottawa gave the Gee-Gees a 21-19 lead heading to the second quarter.
Long range shooting, along with a 21-14 rebound advantage, helped Carleton pull ahead in the second quarter. Connor Vreeken had 11 points in the first half for the defending national champions, who hit the locker room with a 40-33 lead.
The third quarter saw the Ravens extend their lead 64-52, with Carleton shooting 55 per cent from the field, compared to 36.6 percent for Ottawa. Second team All Canadian Guillaume Pepin had nine points in the first 30 minutes to help keep the Gee-Gees in the game.
The teams traded buckets in the first part of the fourth quarter, but Ottawa kept pushing and made it a four-point game in the final minute. However, the powerful Carleton defence prevented the Gee-Gees from completing comeback. Vreeken led all scorers with 27 points, while Stajic netted 16 for Ottawa, earning Nike Top Performer.
Carleton will play either STFX or Victoria in the gold medal game, set to begin at 6 p.m. (all times Atlantic) on Sunday. Ottawa will head to the bronze medal game, which will begin at 2 p.m. on Sunday.
Nike Top Performers
- Carleton: Aiden Warnholtz
- Ottawa: Drogan Stajic