EDMONTON – The Carleton Ravens captured championship number sixteen on Sunday evening defeating the Saskatchewan Huskies 85-72 to win the W.P. McGee Trophy and a third-straight national championship victory.
Third-year guard Aiden Warnholtz led the way for the champs, flirting with a triple-double recording 18 points to go with nine rebounds and eight assists. He was flanked by U SPORTS Player of the Year Lloyd Pandi who recorded a double-double himself with 16 points and 13 rebounds.
“It’s been a long haul. Three games in three days, and we spent a lot of energy last night,” said Ravens head coach Taffe Charles. “We fell down early and had to battle back. And I think that woke our guys up a bit. The Huskies played a heck of a game, and they battled tonight.”
The Huskies saw bright spots in the play of guard Alexander Dewar, who had a game-high 27 points, and Maxwell Amoafo who came close to a double-double with 10 points and nine rebounds.
“This one means more. They ranked us #7, and that gave us extra fuel. I’m really proud of the guys. We fought hard for this one,” said U SPORTS Tournament MVP Alain Louis. “We played Carleton basketball. Everybody has a role, and I’m so proud of this group.”
The Ravens were dominant on both ends of the floor, shooting 45.9 from the field compared to the Huskies 38.5% mark. The presence on the glass was again a key factor to Carleton’s success, outrebounding Saskatchewan by a 54-36 margin.
The first quarter was one defined by runs. The Huskies started hot, going on an 11-2 run largely on the back of Dewar. The Ravens were quick to respond, however, going on an 8-0 run led by Warnholtz to exit the quarter up 22-21.
The second saw a Ravens offence that started to get hot. Warnholtz hit two threes for a quarter-high eight points and was supported by guard Nelson Cilien and forward Lloyd Pandi as the Ravens entered the locker room up big 45-31.
Warnholtz led all scorers at the break with 15 points.
Marquavian Stephens, who has had a fantastic weekend averaging 20.0 points-per-game, led the Huskies back from a 32 point deficit early in the third quarter going ballistic from deep to cut the Ravens lead to just 19 heading into the last quarter.
Saskatchewan would fight to the last whistle, going on a 20-3 run with two minutes remaining to cut the Ravens lead to just nine points. That was as close as they would get, however, as Louis and the Ravens hit some clutch free-throws to put the game to rest.
Nike Top Performers
Carleton Ravens: Aiden Warnholtz
Saskatchewan Huskies: Alexander Dewar
Championship MVP (Jack Donohue Trophy): Alain Louis, Carleton
Championship All-Star Team