Nassau, The Bahamas – The Carleton Ravens fell to 0-3 in their 2022 Can-Am Shootout schedule on Saturday night with a 118-56 loss to Kentucky.
Against the top-ranked team in the SEC the men’s basketball team battled hard to find momentum in the second half, but couldn’t overcome a large first-half deficit.
After starting the 2022 Can-Am Shootout with a pair of losses at home the Ravens started off the evening on a better foot playing their trademark defence against a Kentucky team who looked to improve on their first-round upset at last year’s March Madness tournament. Early on Connor Vreeken (Kingston, Ont.) would clean up a rebound finding Marjok Okada (Edmonton, Alta.) to tie the game at four.
The tie wouldn’t last for long as Kentucky’s Oscar Tshiebwe got hot quickly pushing Kentucky ahead by seven just under five minutes in. Kentucky would find a rhythm stretching out their lead with a 19-2 run. After Aiden Warnholtz (Kanata, Ont.) put an end to the Kentucky run both teams settled into a more defensive pace with scoring slowing down through the middle of the first half.
As the first half wore on the Wildcats' long defenders forced the Ravens into some difficult shots. Under the Kentucky pressure, Carleton started the game 0-for-10 from three-point range. With Warnholtz and Vreeken finding their range the Ravens began to chip away at the Kentucky lead but shooting only 25% for the half found themselves behind 55-19.
The Ravens settled in after a slow start to the second half and began to find some penetration against the Wildcats' defenders. Eight minutes into the second half the Ravens had bucks from Emanuel Milon (Ottawa, Ont.), Evan Meyer (Oshawa, Ont.) and Aiden Warnholtz. Despite the more consistent offence, Kentucky found their deep range and was outscoring the Ravens 29-10.
As the half continued the Ravens began to pick up steam scoring regularly while shooting 53.6% for the half. As Carleton found their offence, Kentucky turned it up a notch with Cason Wallace and Jacob Toppin caught fire hitting deep threes from both wings and closing the book on the Ravens’ trip to The Bahamas.