Written by Sam Lee, Sports Information Assistant
Photo by Valerie Wutti
OTTAWA, ON — The Carleton Ravens men’s basketball team overcame their toughest challenge of the early season on Friday, handing the Brock Badgers their first loss of the campaign in an 80-68 win at home.
Senior guard Kaza Kajami-Keane (Ajax, ON) led Carleton with 16 points and 9 assists, as the Ravens improved their record to 4-0 in the regular season to remain undefeated.
The Badgers opened up the scoring with a triple by Tyler Brown. The Ravens came right back with a Connor Wood (Guelph, ON) three, and the two teams traded baskets to start the game. Rookie forward Eddie Ekiyor (Ottawa, ON) had a great opening quarter for the Ravens, scoring 6 points to give them a 19-12 lead at the end of the first.
Dani Elgadi of the Badgers, who won CIS First-Team All-Canadian honours last year, picked up two quick fouls in the first and another at the beginning of the second, reducing his playing time to just seven minutes in the first. Without their star player, the Badgers struggled to create consistent offence, shooting just 36.7% in the first half.
The second quarter saw more back and forth play from the Ravens and Badgers, with Brock able to hit some jumpers to shrink the gap. Both teams played with a balanced offence, with no player on either team scoring more than 6 points by halftime. The Badgers outscored the Ravens 18-16 in the second, and Carleton remained ahead by five points, 35-30, going into the third.
The third quarter began with some hot shooting by both teams, with the Ravens and Badgers shooting a combined 7-for-8 to start the second half. Carleton finally took control of the game halfway through the quarter, going on a 10-0 run that included two huge dunks by Ekiyor and Ryan Ejim (Toronto, ON). After a nice stepback jumper by Connor Wood to end the third, the Ravens went into the final period with a ten-point lead, 59-49.
The Badgers went on a small run near the end of the fourth, but by then it was too little, too late. The lead never went back down to single digits and the Ravens walked away with their fourth win of the season.
Kajami-Keane and Ekiyor were two of the four Ravens to score in double digits, joined by Wood with 15 points and Marcus Anderson (Brampton, ON) with 10. Ekiyor had 6 boards to go with his 12 points in a terrific showing off the bench.
With Elgadi in foul trouble for most of the game, the Badgers looked to Johneil Simpson, who responded with an 18-point outing, along with four rebounds and two huge blocks. Elgadi finished with just 8 points in 15 minutes.
The Ravens will play the McMaster Marauders tomorrow (Dec.3) at the Raven’s Nest, where they will look to keep their winning streak alive.
RAVENS PLAYER OF THE GAME:
#41 Kaza Kajami-Keane – Guard – 5th year – Ajax, ON
Carleton vs. McMaster
Saturday, December 3, 2016 – 8 p.m.
Ravens’ Nest – Ottawa, ON
PHOTOGRAPHS BY VALERIE WUTTI: