Written by Andrew Savory, Carleton Sports Information
Photo by Valerie Wutti
ST. CATHARINES, ON – The battle of the two top-ranked teams in Canadian university basketball came down to the wire on Saturday night as the Carleton Ravens and the Brock Badgers traded blows before Carleton outlasted Brock in overtime 80-75.
Third-year point guard Munis Tutu (Windsor, ON) struggled from field goal range throughout the evening, but found other ways to fill up the box score. Tutu finished with 14 points, including 3-for-6 from three-point distance, while also collecting five rebounds, handing out three assists and registering three steals.
Brock entered the game with 9-1 record and stood as the second-ranked team in the nation behind only the Ravens. The Badgers’ record now falls to 9-2 following their second-straight loss, the first of which came against the University of Ottawa Gee-Gees on Friday night.
Saturday night’s game had all the makings of an OUA Marquee Matchup. It didn’t disappoint. Both U SPORTS powerhouses came into the game looking to set a physical tone early. The Badgers opened the game with a quick 8-3 run that was capped off by a deep three-pointer by Cassidy Ryan. Cam Smythe (Vancouver, BC) answered with soft hook shot from just inside the paint before Tutu canned an open three from the wing to knot the score up at 8-8 three minutes into the game. Smythe and Tutu’s effort sparked a 12-0 Ravens run that was instrumental in supporting a 19-14 Carleton lead entering the second quarter.
The back-and-forth affair showed no signs of slowing in the second quarter. Third-year guard Yasiin Joseph (Ottawa, ON) opened the frame with a quick three, but Brock had an answer for each Carleton bucket. A three by Tutu extended Carleton’s lead to 28-20, but the Badgers battled back to within four after Daniel Cayer hit a short jump shot to trim the score to 31-27. Two threes by TJ Lall (Cambridge, ON) helped Carleton end the quarter on an 8-4 run to go up 39-31 heading into halftime.
Carleton pushed its lead to double-digits early in the second-half thanks to a three-pointer by Smythe in the first two minutes of the third quarter. With the Ravens showing signs of blowing the game open, Brock responded with a defensive stronghold that stymied Carleton’s offence. A pull-up jump shot by Godsman Kwakwah with three seconds left in the third reduced the lead to just 53-50.
With the comeback in full swing, the Badgers continued to press the Ravens, racing out to a 59-53 lead to begin the fourth quarter after Cayer hit a three-pointer off a setup from Dani Elgadi. The Badgers’ determined effort put the Ravens on the ropes, but head coach Dave Smart’s squad rallied back following a strong defensive rebound in traffic by Eddie Ekiyor (Ottawa, ON) that resulted in a quick breakout and a Tutu finger roll on the other end to give Carleton a 60-59 lead with 3:34 left. Both teams traded slim one and two-point leads in the game’s final minutes, but were unable to break the deadlock after Emmanuel Owootoah (Rexdale, ON) missed a last-second prayer that would have ended the game in regulation. Instead, the Ravens and Badgers entered overtime tied 66-66.
Carleton fed off the momentum of a late game surge and opened overtime determined to not let the win slip away. The Ravens waged a quick 73-67 lead in the first two minutes of the extra frame and managed the clock the rest of the way before Owootoah hit a pair of free throws in the game’s dying moments to put an exciting 80-75 win on ice.
KEY GAME STATS:
RAVENS PLAYER OF THE GAME:
#13 Munis Tutu – Guard – 3rd year – Windsor, ON
Carleton vs. Ryerson
Ravens’ Nest – Ottawa, ON
Friday, January 5, 2018 – 8 p.m.