Written by Taylor Prichard, Sports Information
Photo by Valerie Wutti
(OTTAWA, ON) — The winning streak continues. Carleton (10-2) extended its unbeaten run over Queen’s (7-5) to 39 games on Saturday night by holding off a feisty Gaels team and an outstanding 39-point performance from guard Sukhpreet Singh for a nerve-racking 99-81 victory.
A third quarter comeback from the Gaels nearly cost the Ravens a win, but the solid play of forward Ryan Ejim (Toronto, ON), who finished with 23 points, 4 rebounds and 2 blocks, helped Carleton avoid a disastrous result.
Carleton built an early 17-1 lead in the first quarter as the team found little resistance from the Gaels. Connor Wood (Guelph, ON) and Guillaume Payen-Boucard (Montreal, QC) both made contributions in the first put the Ravens in the driver’s seat. However, Queen’s answered back with a 16-7 run of its own to get back into the contest. The Gaels trailed the Ravens 24-16 after one.
The Ravens relied upon the scoring touch of fourth-year transfer Ryan Ejim in the second, as the power forward bullied his way to 9 points in quarter to give the Ravens a 44-29 halftime lead. Carleton shot an impressive 19 for 37 (51.4%) in the first half to enjoy a 15-point advantage.
Facing a deficit heading into the third, the Gaels suddenly woke up and played with urgency on both ends of the floor as they looked to shock the reigning national champs on their home floor. Queen’s guard Sukhpreet Singh exploded for 20 points in the quarter, and Graham Tanner and Mark Paclibar combined for 5 three-pointers as part of a dominant 38-point third which brought the Gaels back into the game.
Trailing by just two points, Queen’s leveled the score at 69-69 just seconds into the fourth. With a nervous energy in the gym, Carleton managed to regain its focus in the nick of time. Queen’s fiery comeback was extinguished as the Ravens were able to come up with some big stops on the defensive end of the floor combined with some timely scoring in the game’s final minutes.
Carleton’s Kaza Kajami-Keane (Ajax, ON) continued his tremendous first season as a Raven with a 20 point, 10 assist, 8 rebound effort against the Gaels, nearly giving him a triple-double. Connor Wood finished with 19 points and 6 rebounds, while Guillaume Payen-Boucard added 18 points and 8 rebounds. Ravens sophomore Mitch Wood, who made his second consecutive start, had a solid contribution of 10 points and 7 boards.
Queen’s player Sukhpreet Singh set a new career-high with 39 points in the loss.
The last time Carleton lost to the Gaels was on January 30, 1998 – exactly 18 years ago.
Following tonight’s win, the Ravens move onto their next big challenge against the Ottawa Gee-Gees in the 10th annual Capital Hoops Classic on Friday, February 5th at the Canadian Tire Centre.
RAVENS PLAYER OF THE GAME:
#45 Ryan Ejim – Forward – 4th year – Toronto, ON
Carleton vs. Ottawa (MBNA Capital Hoops Classic) – Friday, February 5, 2016 – 8 p.m. – Ottawa, ON (Canadian Tire Centre)