Written by Griffin Porter
Photo by Valerie Wutti
OTTAWA, Ontario – With the prep work put in and the preseason tournaments finally out of the way, the women’s basketball team was able to get the real basketball underway Friday night in the Ravens’ Nest for their home opener against the Waterloo Warriors.
Coming into the season ranked at #4 in the country, the Ravens took a quarter to get up to their preferred speed, but were able to shake off a sluggish start to beat the Waterloo Warriors 74-45 in the first game of the regular season.
The ball moved well for Carleton early on, but strong Waterloo closeouts held the Ravens to just 13 points in the first quarter. However, the Ravens played strong defence in their own right, and both teams struggled with their shot in the 1st.
After going down 17-13 at the end of the 1st quarter, the Ravens were able to bounce back in the 2nd. They stepped their defence up, holding the Warriors to just 7 points in the second. Star Carleton forward Alyssa Cerino, who finished with a game-high 22 points on 8-15 shooting, said that in the first, “they were hitting shots, so we were able to get up on them more… Our offence comes from our defence, so we just focused on defence a little bit more, and in the 2nd quarter I think we definitely played better”.
The Ravens outscored the Warriors 26-7 in the 2nd quarter, taking a 39-24 lead into halftime. The Ravens were able to take the momentum into the 2nd half, as they got strong performances from several players on their roster. 4th year guard Marlee Ball was the Ravens second highest scorer, pairing 11 points with 5 rebounds and 4 assists, and 2nd year forward Emma Kiesekamp contributed 10 points and 5 rebounds as well. One particular standout for the Ravens, however, was 1st year guard Kali Pocrnic, who played the vast majority of the game and added 9 points and 4 assists.
Asked about her young teammate, Cerino said “she’s done a great job, and she’s definitely a big part of our team”. Cerino also noted the 1st year’s ability to adapt to the level of commitment and intensity of top-tier university basketball as a major reason for her success.
The Ravens will continue their regular season with their 2nd home game Saturday night against the Wilfred Laurier Golden Hawks.