Written by Griffin Porter
Photo by Valerie Wutti
OTTAWA, Ontario – The Carleton Ravens went into Saturday night’s game against the Queen’s University Gaels hoping to avenge their first loss of the season, which they suffered at the hands of the Gaels when the two teams met in November. The Ravens came up short again, however, falling to the Gaels 80-75 in overtime. The two nationally ranked teams played an intense, back-and-forth game, but in the end the Ravens weren’t able to overcome a strong Queen’s offence and their own mistakes.
The Ravens got another star performance from 5th year forward Alyssa Cerino, who kept Carleton in the game in the first half and played through injury and fatigue to lead the Ravens throughout the game. Cerino scored 17 points in the first half as many of the other Carleton players struggled to contribute on the offensive end. As Carleton’s secondary scorers began to hit their shots and stretch the floor in the 2nd half, Cerino took on more of a passive role, but still finished the game with 26 points and 17 rebounds. Carleton also got 14 points from 1st year guard Kali Pocrnic and 10 points from forward Marlee Ball, but otherwise struggled offensively as those 3 players combined to score 50 of Carleton’s 75 points.
The two teams traded blows back and forth to start the contest, as the Ravens eked out an early lead of just 2 points after the 1st quarter, but Queen’s was able to respond in a big way. The Gaels were able to tally 25 points in the 2nd quarter, and Carleton went into halftime trailing for the first time since they lost to the University of Ottawa before the winter break. The Ravens were able to make some halftime adjustments to their OUA-best defence, however, and came into the 2nd half strong. They allowed Queen’s to score just 8 points in the 3rd quarter, and were tied heading into the 4th. The 4th quarter that followed was a tense affair, with Carleton putting in some great possessions on both ends of the floor, but being matched by the Gaels every step of the way. One area that stood out negatively for the Ravens was their free throw shooting, as unfortunately Carleton struggled when it mattered most. The Ravens shot just 7-15 from the line in the 3rd and 4th quarters, a fact that will no doubt be closely scrutinized since they would go on to lose the game in overtime.
The overtime period was a tough one for the Ravens’ offence, as they managed just 3 points in the extra 5 minutes, and ended up losing their 3rd game of the year. Speaking after the game, head coach Brian Cheng was sure to praise his team’s heart in the close game, saying “we got down, and we fought back and we had a chance to win. I don’t know if we can do much more than that”. Cheng also mentioned the Carleton defence, saying that it “has to become more of a foundation of our game”. The Ravens will get their first opportunity to bounce back from tonight’s hard fought loss in Toronto next Friday, as they take on the University of Toronto Varsity Blues.