Written by Griffin Porter
Photo by Valerie Wutti
SAULT STE. MARIE, Ontario – The Carleton Ravens stayed hot to start the regular season Friday night, as they topped the University of Algoma Thunderbirds 98-74 to improve to 5-0 on the season.
The Ravens got 1st year guard and leading scorer Lloyd Pandi back after he missed last Saturday’s game against the Ridgebacks, but didn’t get any minutes from 5th year star Marcus Anderson in the win. Pandi, however, made his mark immediately in his return, as he got to the free throw line on the first possession of the game, en route to 14 point night in which he also had 4 steals. Isiah Osborne had another fantastic scoring night off of the bench for Carleton, as he followed up on a 24 point game last Saturday with 28 for the Ravens tonight, on 11-14 shooting from the field. Osborne added 9 rebounds to his performance, and made 6 of his 8 three point attempts. 4th year guard Munis Tutu had a strong game for the Ravens as well, contributing 18 points, 7 rebounds and 6 assists.
The Ravens established themselves early on in this one, especially on the defensive end. After forcing a shot clock violation on the Thunderbirds’ first possession of the game, Carleton followed that up with a Tutu steal on the second possession and a drawn charge on the third. Algoma was able to steady themselves, however, and were only down by 1 point halfway through the 1st quarter. The Thunderbirds benefited from some timely three point shooting, and didn’t allow Carleton to pull away in the 1st, as the Ravens had just a 23-19 lead at the end of the quarter. In the 2nd period, however, Carleton began to clamp down on defence. They allowed just 13 points in the 2nd, and began to find some cracks in the Algoma defence late in the period, as they began to pull away and took a 47-31 lead into halftime, behind some excellent play from Tutu in particular, as he stepped up on both ends of the floor with Anderson out.
The Ravens came out of the locker room hot, and they began the 3rd quarter on a 11-2 run on the strength of their rebounding and transition offence. The Ravens outscored the Thunderbirds by 7 points in the 3rd quarter and 2 in the 4th to take home their 5th win of the young season.
Although Algoma played well throughout much of the game, their inability to finish their defensive possessions with rebounds cost them as the night went on. The Ravens finished the game with 14 offensive rebounds to Algoma’s 1, and 12 second chance points to the Thunderbirds’ 0. Carleton did turn the ball over more often than their opponent, but they were still able to defend well in transition and didn’t allow many points off of their turnovers.
The Ravens will travel from Sault St. Marie to Guelph, where they take on the 1-4 Gryphons on Sunday afternoon. Carleton will be looking to win their 6th straight game to start the year, while the Gryphons will be looking to snap a 3 game losing streak.