Ravens Sports Information (Photo: Valerie Wutti)
OTTAWA - The Carleton Ravens are one win away from returning to the U SPORTS Final 8 after an intense 67-64 victory over the TMU Bold.
In a back-and-forth defensive battle, the Ravens were able to use a 20-11 second quarter to avenge last season's OUA semifinal loss. With the win, the Ravens will now host the McMaster Marauders on Wednesday, March 1 at 6:00 p.m.
It was a tight first quarter at the Ravens' Nest as both team's starters struggled to find a rhythm. Jayme Foreman found success from downtown early to put the Bold ahead by as many as seven before Carleton's offence started to click. After Dorcas Buisa (Gatineau, Que.) scored on back-to-back possessions the Ravens saw the gap widen again when Foreman hit their third three of the quarter. Despite the sharp shooting, Carleton trailed by just one at the end of the first.
In the second, the Ravens found a rhythm with seven players getting on the score sheet as they pulled ahead of the Bold. As the Ravens built their first true lead of the game, it was transition plays that brought the fans in the Nest to their feet. Kyana Jade Poulin (Brossard, Que.) found veteran guard Emma Kiesekamp on the run for a beautiful layup that signalled trouble to TMU.
The third quarter felt like a true Ravens period, both teams locked down on the defensive end and only 24 points were exchanged with Carleton adding two to their lead. After playing more of a distributor's role in the first half, Ravens guard Kali Pocrnic (Oakville, Ont.) put up nine points in the third as she played all ten minutes in the quarter.
Despite an incredible pushback from Rachel Farwell - who scored 20 points in the second half, including 13 in the final frame - the Ravens were able to close out the victory in spite of some nervousness on offence. "We were waiting until 10 seconds to then attack but we just ended up on a couple positions like we weren't even trying to take a shot," explained Ravens head coach Dani Sinclair.
Despite the team's offence struggles, Sinclair remains positive for the challenge ahead on Wednesday. "We've talked all year about how tough everybody has been in the league," said coach Sinclair looking ahead to Wednesday. "They were here in November, so there will be big differences for both teams, we haven't seen each other almost all season, Sarah Gates has been putting up great numbers, but they have a lot of great shooters."
The Ravens will need to focus inward over the next couple days if they hope to find success on Wednesday night.