By Jackson Starr (Photo by Vaughan Merchant)
Sydney, NS - The Ravens are off to the U SPORTS national championship game after defeating the St. Mary’s Huskies 65-46 in the semifinals.
It was a very even start for both teams, feeling each other out in the game's opening minutes. Both teams combined for one bucket in the first three minutes, and three in the first five with both teams struggling offensively out of the gate. The game picked up as the quarter went on though, as both teams started making shots. Both the Ravens and the Huskies traded threes late in the quarter, keeping the game close. Carleton was strong in the paint scoring eight points down low in the opening quarter. Both teams couldn’t separate though, as the game remained close. After 10 minutes, the score was deadlocked at 13-13.
The Ravens did a great job at asserting its style of play onto the Huskies in the second quarter. Carleton played a tight defensive style and was strong on the offensive boards to maintain possession. Kali Pocrnic (Oakville, Ont.) did a terrific job as well, getting open and knocking down some big shots. She scored 12 first-half points. Carleton made a few large three-point shots in the second as well, helping separate as the quarter went on. Those threes proved the difference at halftime as Carleton held a ten-point, 36-26, lead heading to the dressing room.
Carleton really buckled down defensively in the third, and added offensively, outscoring the Huskies 17-10 in the quarter. It started off strong for the Ravens in the third, opening up the quarter on a 7-2 run. Kyana-Jade Poulin (Brossard, Que.) did a terrific job getting open from behind the arc in the third, making a couple of big three-point shots to extend the Ravens' lead. SMU also struggled to make shots from long range and Carleton did a good job at picking up rebounds. Off the backs of a strong game in the paint on both ends of the floor, and some clutch shots from deep, Carleton held a 53-36 lead through three-quarters of action.
It was a continuous struggle for the Huskies from the three-point line in the fourth, shooting only 13 percent from beyond the arc on the night. Carleton was once again solid on offence, responding to almost every SMU bucket with a made shot of their own. With Jacqueline Urban (Ancaster, Ont.) in foul trouble Zerina Duvnjak (Kitchener, Ont.) stepped in and did a great job. She registered six points along with eight rebounds in the second half, helping the Ravens to pad the lead. Carleton opened up a 20-point lead early in the quarter and never looked back, moving along to the U-Sports National Championship game with a 65-46 win.
The Ravens are now set to face the Queen’s Gaels in the finals tomorrow evening at 5 PM (ET) from Cape Breton University. That’s sure to be a classic as the teams meet for the fourth time in the season. Carleton is 2-1 against Queen’s on the year including a win in the Critelli Cup Finals in Kingston. You can watch the game on CBCSports.ca.