Kingston, Ontario - The Carleton Ravens bench was the story of the night on Friday night, as they entered the ARC at Queen’s University and shot out the lights scoring 49 points as the Ravens beat the #10 ranked Gaels 86-46.
After the Gaels came out swinging on their senior night, Wazir Latiff (Vaughn, Ont.) entered the game off the bench took no time getting hot early. Latiff would drain 3 first quarter three-pointers off the bench as the Ravens quickly pulled away leading the Gaels 21-11 at the first break.
In the second quarter, the Ravens would continue to carry the momentum as Connor Vreeken (Kingston, Ont.) lit up the skies in his hometown scoring five straight points before Khalifa Koulamallah (Gatineau, Que.) would hit his second three-pointer of the night putting the Ravens up 18 just under 12 minutes into the game.
With eleven fouls in the first half, the Ravens looked to their depth to take the early lead against the Gaels. Led by 13 points from Wazir Latiff, and 10 points from Khalifa Koulamallah the Ravens bench outscored the Gaels team 31-19 for a 42-19 lead at the half.
“We know their ability to score the basketball, and that’s why they were here,” said coach Taffe Charles of Latiff and Koulamallah. “We wanted to get guys in early and spread out the minutes a little more instead of waiting until the second half, and they really gave us a lift.”
Led in the first half by Quinton Gray, 15 points and 2 rebounds, the Gaels would need contributions from their depth if they would want to come back in the second half. Despite a scattered start to the half, the Ravens find their groove starting the third on a 14-0 run before Luka Syllas would hit his first bucket of the night. Syllas would quickly generate a steal leading to a Quinton Gray bucket before Aiden Warnholtz (Kanata, Ont.) would hit a three to stop the run.
The Ravens would continue to frustrate the Gaels the rest of the quarter trading points while the Ravens slowly extended their lead to 39, 66-27. Asked about the difference in intensity in the third quarter coach Charles would point to focusing on cleaning up the game. “I thought we were very sloppy with the basketball in the first half, and we’re trying to get things right for the second season.”
Henry Van Herk would open the fourth quarter for the Gaels draining a long three – only the Gaels second of the night. In typical Ravens fashion they would remain unrelenting in the fourth quarter. Biniam Ghebrekidan (Gatineau, Que.) would add six in the final quarter while the bench would score another 14 as the Ravens added 20 to wrap up an impressive road win.
The Ravens now travel home from Kingston to host the Gaels on Saturday, March 12. Prior the 8:00 p.m. tipoff the Ravens will honour their graduating players.
A very limited number of tickets are still available.
From the Stats Sheet
Big Bench – The Ravens bench scored 49 on Friday night including double digit points from Koulamallah, Shephard and Latiff.
Deep Lineup – The Ravens had offensive contributions from 11 of 12 players in the lineup on Friday. Only Cordell Veira, who left the game in the second quarter, failed to score. Veira did have 2 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals in 11 minutes.
Range – The Ravens were 32.3% from beyond the arc, scoring 10 three pointers led by three from Wazir Latiff.
Biniam on the Boards – Biniam Ghebrekidan cleaned up the defensive end again tonight recording 7 defensive rebounds in 17 minutes of play.