Written by Griffin Porter
Photo by Valerie Wutti
NORTH BAY, Ontario – Going more than a month without playing an OUA game wasn’t enough to break the Carleton Ravens’ momentum, as they came back from the winter break and wasted no time getting back in the win column, defeating the Nipissing University Lakers 92-58 to extend their winning streak to 12 games to start the season. The rust that built up over the break showed at times for Carleton, but they were able to shake it off in the 2nd half especially and secured the victory with a strong finish.
The Lakers got off to a strong start as the teams battled back and forth early in the game, but 1st year guard Lloyd Pandi kept his team in it and held off the early Nipissing attack. Pandi had 9 points in the 1st quarter alone, and finished the game with 22 on just 12 field goal attempts. The Ravens were able to back up Pandi’s strong game with some depth scoring, as 7 Carleton players besides the emerging 1st year star scored more than 5 points, and all 12 Ravens who entered the game scored at least one basket.
The Ravens offence didn’t reach its full potential until the 2nd half, but was able to stay ahead of the Lakers in the first half on the back of Pandi’s strong performance as well as good team defence. The Lakers converted on 5 of their first 6 shot attempts in the 1st quarter, but Carleton responded by forcing misses on 6 of Nipissing’s next 7 field goals, and took a 7-point lead into the first break. Nipissing played their best quarter in the 2nd, but Carleton was still able to take a lead into halftime and then finally got their offence going in the 2nd half. The Ravens didn’t allow more than 20 points in a single quarter, and allowed just 13 points each in the 3rd and the 4th to secure their first victory of 2020 in their first attempt.
Carleton’s 2nd half was a strong one, as they rebounded from scoring just 38 points in the 1st half to score 54 in the 2nd, as the reserves came in and expanded the visitor’s lead. Carleton’s bench outscored the Lakers’ backups 36-4 on the night, and that depth proved to be the deciding factor in the Ravens victory. Ravens guard Isiah Osborne made 3 three-pointers off the bench to lead the charge with 10 points, all of which came in the 3rd quarter, as Carleton tallied 29 points in said quarter and began to put the game out of reach.
The Ravens will look to continue their momentum tomorrow night against Laurentian, as they face a tough test in a strong Voyageurs team that features one of the best players in the country in Kadre Gray, the OUA’s top scorer. The two teams will tip off at 8pm, following the women’s game between the same two schools, which will start at 6 on OUA.tv.