Written by Griffin Porter
Photo by Valerie Wutti
NORTH BAY, Ontario – After more than a month without basketball, the OUA regular season got back in action Friday night, and the Carleton Ravens marked the occasion with a gritty 60-51 win over the Nipissing University Lakers. The Ravens went into the break on a sour note, suffering a tough loss to the rival University of Ottawa Gee-Gees on December 4th, but were able to get back in the win column on the strength of their defence against the Lakers.
The game featured a noticeable level of rust on both sides, as both teams struggled to get their shots to fall throughout the game. Neither squad was able to shoot higher than 45% from the field, and the teams struggled with turnovers and sloppy play as well. It was defence that lead Carleton to the win that put them back in a tie for first in their division, as the Ravens put the clamps on Nipissing throughout the night, peaking with a 3rd quarter in which they allowed just 5 points. The Lakers didn’t go away easily, however, as they rebounded with 23 points in the 4th quarter, but the Ravens were able to score just enough to stay in front as they escaped with the narrow win.
Carleton was led by a strong performance from star forward Alyssa Cerino, who put up 14 points on 7-9 shooting from the field, and also received good showings from 1st year guard Tatyanna Burke, who tallied 12 points, and her backcourt mate Kali Pocrnic, who had 9 points to go along with 7 assists. The most relevant numbers for the Ravens came in the area of shot defence, however, as they held the Lakers to just 28% shooting for the game, and allowed just 16 made field goals.
Carleton will certainly have areas that head coach Brian Cheng and his staff will look to work on as the season progresses and the playoffs feel closer than ever. Carleton struggled heavily from distance, making just 2 of their 16 three-point attempts as the usually strong shooters that occupy the Ravens roster all happened to struggle in the same game. Carleton also had trouble converting shots in the paint as well as getting to the free throw line Friday night. The Ravens only took 5 free throws on the game, and made just 2 of them. The Ravens also turned the ball over a troubling 22 times, but did a good job in their transition defence limiting Nipissing to just 15 points off of their giveaways.
The Ravens will look to get back to their normally strong offence on Saturday night and maintain their spot on top of the OUA’s East division, as they travel to Laurentian University to take on the 2-10 Voyageurs.