By: Jackson Starr
Sudbury, Ontario - It was far from perfect, but the Carleton Ravens nonetheless fought adversity to beat the Laurentian Voyageurs 69-63 on the road Saturday night. That secures the teams 4th win of the season and improves its perfect record to 4-0.
Coming in off of a big win, the Ravens struggled to shut down a strong Voyageurs offense early on in the contest. The Voyageurs created good separation and found lots of open looks offensively to make it tough on Carleton in the first. Arielle Douillette had a big first half for Laurentian, dishing the ball off well to her teammates offensively. The Ravens also struggled a bit offensively, unable to find many open looks. Despite that and the strong start for the Voyageurs though, Carleton, led by both Kali Pocrnic (Oakville, Ont.) and Jacqueline Urban (Ancaster, Ont.) were able to keep the score close. Carleton trailed 20-18 after the first quarter of play.
It was more of the same from Laurentian in the second quarter, creating space in the offensive half which led to open looks from beyond the arc. Carleton struggled to defend the three and Laurentian made the Ravens pay. However, the offense started to progressively come for the Ravens. Pocrnic played a large role in opening things up and giving her teammates different looks, but Urban and Kinley Rice (Douglas, Ont.) did a great job at picking up big offensive rebounds. The offensive success remained for the Voyageurs though, as Carleton went to the dressing room needing a change of momentum in the second half trailing by five points.
The Ravens clearly made those necessary adjustments at halftime and came out with a completely different defensive mentality in the third quarter. The Ravens put a ton of pressure on the Laurentian offense which forced turnovers and offensive fouls. There was good fluidity to the Ravens defense which made it tough for the Voyageurs to get much going. Offensively, the Ravens took full advantage as Oceane Kounkou (Gatineau, Que.) made a couple of large threes to give the Ravens a slim lead. Laurentian would battle back late but Carleton held a seven-point advantage after 30 minutes of play.
The Ravens did an excellent job in the fourth at making clutch buckets down the stretch to seal the win. Pocrnic consistently made big shots which killed any bit of momentum Laurentian found throughout the fourth. The Ravens guard finished with 26 points on the night adding another impressive performance to her collection. This was despite the fact that Carleton struggled from the free throw line in the fourth, an area it will want to work on as the season moves along. Nonetheless the Ravens stood strong and were able to close off a solid Laurentian team to seal a 69-63 victory.
This is the second time this year we have seen this type of effort from the Ravens. In the team’s home opener at home against the York Lions, Carelton looked to be struggling out of the gate but in game adjustments allowed the team to separate and pick up the win. That success on in-game adjustments as the game goes on bodes well for Carleton, especially this early in the season.
The Ravens will remain on the road next weekend as the team faces off against the Queen’s Gaels in Kingston looking to stay perfect on the season.
"Our goal every night is to make people do what they don't want to do, and we didn't do that tonight. It was a battle of wills at times."
"Throughout the whole game, except the third quarter, we let them do what they do well. We know that's what they want to do and we allowed their top players to get into the paint and shoot over us."
"They're a good team and they get people on the ball in good spots where they are tough to defend. They were hard to defend in that first quarter and we settled in and kept it close until halftime and then turned it on offensively in the third quarter."
"We turned down shots, even after we hit some. We made some shots early and then we turned down those shots so we talked about getting into the paint and kicking out and taking over shots."
"I thought Oceanne came in off the bench and played important minutes at the end of the third quarter and made some threes."