Written by Griffin Porter
Photo by Valerie Wutti
OTTAWA, Ontario – Not even 36 hours after their first loss to the Drury University Panthers, the drastically shorthanded Carleton Ravens found themselves back on the court. Once again only able to dress 7 players against a Panthers squad that was able to field a full 15 woman squad, the Ravens found themselves overwhelmed by the Panthers’ active defence at several points throughout the game, as the Ravens committed 34 turnovers in a 72-65 loss.
The Ravens were able to hang in the game in the first quarter with a strong defensive effort of their own, along with a hot start from star Alyssa Cerino, who scored the Ravens first 8 points of the contest. Only down 4 at the end of the first, it appeared that the Ravens were more than capable of beating a strong Panthers squad. However, in the second quarter the Ravens offence shot just 25% from the field and didn’t hit a three in the first half, while Drury shot 4-9 from deep.
In the 2nd half, a Panthers offence that had been slowed down by the Carleton defence began to show signs of life, as the Panthers pulled ahead to a 13 point lead with about 3 minutes left in the third quarter. The two sides were relatively evenly matched the rest of the way, with the Ravens doing well to get the Panthers into foul trouble and finish through contact, drawing several opportunities from the free throw line in the third and fourth quarters. A furious comeback attempt with a minute left was too little too late from a clearly tired Carleton side, as the Ravens were forced to settle for a 72-65 final score.
Despite dropping two games in back to back nights to Drury, who went 31-0 in NCAA Division II play last season, there is clearly little panic among the Ravens players and coaches, who cited the many injuries and absences along with the quality of the opponent and the fact that these games are merely exhibition as reasons that they aren’t fazed by an 0-2 result from their half of the Can-Am Series.
Jaclyn Ronson, who finished the game with 10 points and 4 steals, pointed out that facing such a high-calibre opponent shorthanded showed the team exactly what they wanted to see from this series. She took heart in the fact that “Once playing with them, we were able to keep up with them… the fact that we were able to compete, I think, shows that we can compete with anybody”. As the Ravens gear up for a season that comes with high expectations among a lot of turnover, competing with anybody is exactly what they expect to do.