North Bay, Ontario – The Carleton Ravens outlasted a hot start by the Nipissing Lakers on Friday night for an 86-69 victory.
The Nipissing Lakers came out firing in their home opener getting red hot from beyond the arc. Noah Lapierre (Sudbury, Ont.) couldn’t miss early and the Ravens found themselves behind 16-11 midway through the first quarter. The Lakers would lead by as many as 11 before Carleton came to. The Ravens would battle back and at the end of the first quarter trailed the Lakers 23-20.
The Ravens comeback hit full speed in the second quarter when Elliott Bailey and Connor Vreeken hit back-to-back three-pointers to put the Ravens ahead 30-23. The Ravens hot play would continue the rest of the way and by the end of the half they led Nipissing 41-33.
It was more of the same throughout the second half as the Ravens used a deep rotation to pull away from the Lakers. In the third quarter, Carleton got scoring by committee as Marjok Okado and Elliot Bailey combined for 11 points off the bench while the Ravens starters added 12 more for a 23-18 quarter.
In the fourth, with the lead well established the Ravens settled into a rhythm that would allow them to go deep into their rotations while younger players like Ben Riley gained valuable time on the court. Late in the match up, Riley showed up his speed breaking up a Lakers pass and running the length of the court for a massive transition dunk.
On the game overall...
"It's their home opener and they came out firing, they made some shots early and I don't know how well we defended those first few shots with them in their home gym and feeling it."
"We settled down a bit defensively, did better in the second quarter and got some stops, but unfortunately we didn't get the separation we were looking for. But, winning on the road is a difficult thing and we have a fairly young team so we're pleased with the result and want to learn from this as well."
On the team's youth...
"We're going to get people valuable minutes and they're going to make mistakes, so that's a bit of the inconsistency that we show at times, but sometimes we also get some good contributions."
"I thought [Marjok Okado] came around pretty good and Ben [Riley] played pretty decent, but we're going to need these guys. Teams are going to take our best players out of the game and we're going to need to contributions."
On Elliot Bailey...
"He did a really good job defensively, he's emerged into somebody that we have to count on in terms of being solid, having good energy and competing hard. If he can make a shot here and there that's awesome, but he needs to really steady the ship for us in terms of being able to provide quality minutes off the bench."
On playing Laurentian Saturday...
"They're going to be excited. It's a hostile environment and they're going to be ready. We've got to expect the worst in terms of the energy from the fans, and that may impact the referees, so we can't be crying for fouls and we just have to play hard and play through some things to get a result."