Written by Taylor Prichard, Sports Information
Photo by Valerie Wutti
(OTTAWA, ON) — New season. New players. Same old result.
In Rob Smart’s OUA regular season coaching debut, the Carleton Ravens dominated the flow of play in the second half to run roughshod over the visiting Laurentian Voyageurs in a 93-48 victory on Friday evening.
Newcomers Ryan Ejim (Toronto, ON) and Kaza Kajami-Keane (Ajax, ON) had promising OUA debuts for the Ravens as well, as Ejim scored 18 points and Kajami-Keane contributed 12 points for the defending national champs.
Laurentian did as much as they could in the first quarter to keep Carleton grounded, but the Ravens used their bench to gain the early 19-15 lead after one. Mitchell Wood (Guelph, ON), Marcus Anderson (Brampton, ON) and Sheldon McIntosh (Stoney Creek, ON) all contributed baskets in the game’s opening quarter.
Carleton picked up the slack in the second quarter as Kajami-Keane took over to score some big baskets to build a fourteen point advantage before the half as the Ravens led 49-25 at the break.
“I thought Kaza did a great job taking control and settling down our guys in that second quarter,” said head coach Rob Smart in his post-game rundown.
Laurentian’s 9-35 shooting performance through the opening two quarters put them in an early hole and one that they would never climb out of. Former Carleton commit Anthony Iacoe poured in 10 points early on to help keep his team competitive, but this game belonged to the Ravens from start to finish.
To begin the third quarter, the Ravens went on a 13-0 scoring run to cement their domination on the V’s. Ejim tallied 8 points, and Connor Wood (Guelph, ON), who had a relatively quiet game overall, had a putback dunk to get the crowd jazzed up. Cam Smythe (Vancouver, BC) followed suit just over a minute later with a slam of his own as the Ravens began to bustle with confidence.
Carleton’s 37-8 undoing of Laurentian in the third quarter set the team up to play the fourth quarter primarily with their bench. Overall, the second unit added 45 points for Carleton compared to just 14 for Laurentian.
The Ravens would use a slight 17-15 fourth quarter advantage to close out the game.
“We going to need more out of veteran guys, there’s no question,” said Smart of his top players. “[The veterans] were lucky today that some guys stepped up, got some stops and showed some composure.”
Freshman guard Stanley Mayambo (Fredericton, NB) had a quiet 10 points while first-year player Marcus Anderson also chipped in with 10 points for the Ravens.
While the team had a strong result overall, coach Smart knows that there are plenty of ways for the Ravens to get better going forward.
“There are some things the staff will have to look at to make [the team] comfortable and getting on the same page with some guys. It’s a long season and we’re trying to win in March.”
Carleton will play the second game of their weekend double-header tomorrow night as the men host the Nipissing Lakers at 8 p.m.
T. Joseph Scanlon – A Loyal Carleton Ravens Supporter:
Prior to the opening tip-off, the Carleton Ravens celebrated the life of T. Joseph Scanlon with a tribute at centre court. Scanlon, a former faculty member and Professor Emeritus of Carleton’s renowned School of Journalism and Communication, was a beloved member of the Ravens community and an avid basketball supporter for five decades. The first Professor T. Joseph Scanlon Award for Academic Excellence was presented to Carleton fourth-year forward, Ryan Ejim.
RAVENS PLAYER OF THE GAME:
#45 Ryan Ejim – Forward – 4th year (Toronto, ON)
Carleton vs. Nipissing – Saturday, November 7th, 2015 – 8 p.m. (Ravens’ Nest)