Written by Sam Lee, Sports Information Assistant
Photo by Valerie Wutti
OTTAWA, ON — The highly anticipated matchup between the Carleton Ravens and University of Ottawa Gee-Gees on Tuesday night was predicted to be a close game between the two best teams in Canada. Instead, the Ravens pulled off another blowout win, defeating the Gee-Gees 81-40 for their tenth straight win of the season.
Defence was the name of the game on Tuesday, as the Ravens and Gee-Gees both focused their efforts on stopping their rival team. The Ravens’ intensity was unmistakable from the opening tip, where they held the Gee-Gees scoreless until more than six minutes into the first. The Gee-Gees only made one field goal in the entire opening quarter, the result of a pronounced defensive effort by the Ravens. The Ravens ended the first up 11-4, by far the worst start to a game for the Gee-Gees this season.
The Ravens continued their dominant defensive play in the second, starting the quarter with a 13-3 run. After scoring just two points in the first quarter, Connor Wood (Guelph, ON) found his rhythm in the second, going off for 14 points, including three triples. The Gee-Gees showed some life as halftime approached, outscoring the Ravens 8-5 in the final two minutes of the opening half. Nevertheless, the Ravens were firmly in control by the midpoint, up 35-17 against their toughest possible opponent.
The Gee-Gees shot just 6-for-32 (18.8%) from the field in the first half, unable to create good offensive looks against the Ravens’ ferocious defence. Caleb Agada, the Gee-Gees’ star player, shot 2-for-11 in the half, scoring just five points.
The Gee-Gees were again held to single digit scoring in the third, only able to put up 9 points against the Ravens’ relentless play. A jumper by Ryan Ejim (Toronto, ON) halfway through the third put the Ravens up by 26 points, their biggest lead at that point. The third ended with the Ravens up 59-26, and the game was all but finished going into the final quarter.
The Ravens subbed in their bench to finish the match, but they only increased their lead as time winded down. TJ Lall (Cambridge, ON) led all scorers in the fourth with ten points on 4-for-5 shooting, including two threes, a steal and a block.
The Ravens secured their spot as the top team in the nation with the win, improving their record to 10-0. Connor Wood led the way offensively with 19 points and four triples, while Kaza Kajami-Keane (Ajax, ON) chipped in 10 points and six assists. Eddie Ekiyor (Ottawa, ON) and Ejim posted matching statlines of eight points and nine rebounds, doing most of their damage in the second half.
However, the story of the game was not individual performances, but rather the Ravens’ incredible team defence against the number two ranked team in the nation going in. The Ravens forced 18 turnovers and held the Gee-Gees to just 21.4% from the field throughout the game. The Ravens were up wire-to-wire, an unexpected result for a highly-awaited matchup between rivals.
The Gee-Gees’ leading scorer was Brandon Robinson with 15 points, while Agada finished with just 12 points on 14 attempts. The loss was the Gee-Gees’ first of the 2016-17 OUA campaign, and dropped their record to 9-1. The Ravens, along with the Ryerson Rams, remain the last two teams yet to taste defeat this season,
The two teams will meet again on February 3, at the 11th annual Capital Hoops Classic, held at the Canadian Tire Center. More immediate, however, is the Ravens’ two-game homestand this weekend, where they will welcome the Guelph Gryphons and Lakehead Thunderwolves to the Ravens’ Nest on Friday and Saturday.
RAVENS PLAYER OF THE GAME:
#10 Connor Wood – Guard – 5th year – Guelph, ON
Carleton vs. Guelph
Friday, January 20, 2017 – 8 p.m.
Ravens’ Nest – Ottawa, ON
PHOTOGRAPHS BY VALERIE WUTTI: