For only the fifth time in the storied rivalry of the two Eastern Ontario schools, the Carleton Ravens and Queen's Gaels will meet in the OUA's men's basketball playoffs Wednesday night. In this, the deepest meeting between the two teams, the Ravens will look to repeat 2019 when they beat the Gaels 80-63 in the OUA Quarterfinal.
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The Gaels enter the OUA East Final on a hot streak. Following a pair of losses to Carleton to end the regular season the Gaels have picked up wins over the Nipissing Lakers (69-59) and uOttawa Gee-Gees (59-55) to advance to the third round. Defensively, the Gaels have been impressive in the playoffs holding their opponents to 57 points while holding the Gee-Gees to 27.9% shooting.
In two meetings with the Gaels this season the Ravens have shot 47.9% including an impressive 23-for-64 from beyond the arc. In their first Wilson Cup playoff game of the season, the Ravens shot 54.7% against the Rams on Saturday night as they advanced 87-69. Lloyd Pandi led the way for the Ravens scoring 24 points while collecting 10 rebounds and 9 assists, narrowly missing a triple-double. The Ottawa guard was an impressive 10-for-15 from the field including a next level 7-for-10 in the second half.
The Ravens will need to be ready for a variety of looks from the Gaels who have seen the return of Cole Syllas in the playoffs but have been without his brother Luka. Cole has been keep for the tricolour scoring 17 points against the Gee-Gees after putting up 21 over the Lakers. In the second game against the Ravens on March 12, Luka put up 22 points, shooting 9-for-17 as the Gaels scored 46 second half points.
Look for Quinton Gray (16 ppg) and Henry Van Herk (8.5 ppg) to also need to step up for the Gaels if they want to get past the Ravens.
On the home side, the Ravens will look for continued depth. After scoring 79 bench points in two games against the Gaels earlier this year, the Ravens will need more of the same on Wednesday. Last Saturday, Connor Vreeken and Grant Shephard both played big roles off the bench combining for 21 points and 11 rebounds.