Featuring smothering defence and dead-eye three-point shooting, the top-seeded Carleton Ravens defeated the wild-card entry Alberta Golden Bears 100-60 in the third quarterfinal game of the U SPORTS Men’s Basketball Final 8.
The Ravens soared from beyond the arc, shooting a blistering 17-for-33 – 51.5 per cent – and held the Golden Bears to 35 per cent from the field.
“We took what they were giving us,” said Ravens OUA Coach of the Year Dave Smart when asked if focusing on shooting threes was part of the game plan. “We had some great looks early but didn’t hit them – we weren’t set. Later, we started hitting some contested ones.”
Smart noted the key role substitutions played in the win, especially offensively.
“We made that first run with our bench, and then we were able to sustain it when our starters came back on the floor,” he said.
In a tightly-defended opening five minutes of the game, the Ravens took a 9-8 edge, on a corner three-pointer from Munis Tutu.
After First Team All-Canadian Eddie Ekiyor, who hooped 10 points in the quarter, scored on a gliding lay-up and a put-back slam dunk, the Ravens were up 14-10.
Andre Kelly replied and trimmed the margin to one point with a shot from beyond the arc for the Golden Bears.
The Ravens led 18-15 after the first quarter.
Spurred by a three-pointer from Isiah Osborne and a drive and hoop from Mitch Jackson, Carleton took a double-digit advantage – 27-17 – just two minutes into the second quarter.
An interior basket by Alberta First Team All-Canadian Brody Clarke momentarily interrupted the surge before Osborne drained another two three-pointers to make it 33-19 for the Ravens.
A pair of Yasiin Joseph three-pointers sandwiched another basket from Ekiyor, who was named Ravens Player of the Game, to give their team a 43-25 lead with two minutes remaining until halftime.
Another pair of three-pointers – one each from Troy Reid-Knight and TJ Lall – along with a steal, which led to two made free throws for Reid-Knight, the Ravens expanded to a 20-point margin.
Carleton, who outscored Alberta 33-16 in the second quarter, led 51-32 at halftime.
By midway through the third quarter, the Ravens were up 66-34, keyed by a three-pointer from U SPORTS defensive Player of the Year Marcus Anderson, who played sparingly in the first half because of foul trouble, and five consecutive points from Osborne, including another hoop from downtown.
The Ravens led 71-41 after three quarters.
Early in the fourth quarter, the teams exchanged baskets, with Clarke – his team’s Player of the Game – and U SPORTS All-Rookie Team member Adam Paige making lay-ups as the trailing Golden Bears continued to battle.
“They are a significantly better team and they played a great game,” said Golden Bears head coach Barnaby Craddock.
“It is a great accomplish for our team to make it here this season. We have nothing to hang our heads about.”
Coming off the bench, Osborne led the Ravens with 20 points, including four three-pointers, while Ekiyor finished with a double-double – 19 points and 10 rebounds. Joseph also hit double figures, with 16, along with five assists, while Reid-Knight drained four threes, as part of a 15-point effort.
For the Golden Bears, Clarke led the way with 12 points, while chipping in five rebounds, four assists, and two steals. Williams and Kelly also scored in double figures, both with 10.
The Ravens will take on the winner of the UBC Thunderbirds/Dalhousie Tigers quarterfinal match-up in Saturday’s semifinal at 5 p.m. ET / 2 p.m. PT on Sportsnet 360, Sportsnet Now and TVA Sports, while the Golden Bears will tip off against the loser in the consolation semifinal at 7 p.m. ET / 4 p.m. PT.
Players of the Game
- Carleton: Eddie Ekiyor
- Alberta: Brody Clarke