By Tristan Forde (Photo: Valerie Wutti)
Thunder Bay, Ont. - Carleton edged Lakehead in a tightly contested season finale by a score of 73-65 to wrap up the regular season while securing the top seed.
Lakehead played a solid first half of basketball, capitalizing on every opportunity Carleton gave them. The Ravens got into foul trouble early, while also struggling to get going from deep, scoring only two of their eleven three-point attempts. The Thunderwolves held a 31-28 lead heading into halftime.
The Raven's scoring surged in the third quarter and ultimately made the difference in the game. Veteran Grant Shephard was magnificent throughout the contest, shooting a very efficient 9-14 from the field. He captured a double-double in his final regular season game as a Raven, scoring 18 points and 13 rebounds.
Point guard Aiden Warnholtz’s brilliance carried over from Wednesday night. Warnholtz posted an assertive triple-double in the last regular season game. He demonstrated remarkable court vision posting 13 assists, along with 11 rebounds and 15 points.
A win against Lakehead solidified Carleton as the highly competitive OUA East winner. A division full of talent, including the Queens Gaels and bytown opponent uOttawa. Winning the division guarantees the Ravens a first-round bye in the playoffs.
The OUA playoffs feature an unforgiving single-game win or go-home structure. The Ravens finish the 2022-23 campaign with the best record in the OUA for the second consecutive season at 18-4.
Carleton will be able to rest and prepare for next weekend as they will host the quarterfinal game on Saturday, February 25th.
Tickets for Saturday's double-header will be on sale soon.