Written by Griffin Porter
Photo by Valerie Wutti
OTTAWA, Ontario – The Carleton Ravens finished off the regular season just as they would’ve liked to on Saturday night, as they beat the Brock University Badgers 115-52 to finish the season with a record of 21-1. Carleton honoured their four graduating players before the game, as guards Marcus Anderson, Yasiin Joseph, Stanley Mayambo, and Munis Tutu all suited up for their last regular season games as Carleton Ravens. However, it was the younger players who shined on Seniors’ Night at the Ravens’ Nest, as 3rd year guard Alain Louis put up 21 points on just 9 shots off of the bench, while 2nd year Connor Vreeken added 16 points through his usual sharpshooting, as he hit 4 three pointers. “That’s what it is! Senior Night is about sending it off to the youngins” quipped Joseph after the game. “It was great to see them do their thing, and I’m proud of them”.
The Ravens got out to a hot start in this one, as they led the visitors from St. Catherine’s 31-12 after the 1st quarter. Louis scored 10 of his 21 points in the opening frame alone, and Carleton’s love for turning defence into offence came into play once again. By the time the first intermission of the game rolled around, the Ravens had already scored 11 points off of Brock turnovers, a total that grew to 33 by the time the final buzzer sounded. In the same category, the Badgers put up just 4 points off of Carleton giveaways.
The game became more competitive in the 2nd quarter, as Brock found some of their offensive flow and began to shoot more effectively, but the Ravens’ offence proved to be too much for the Badgers’ defence in this one. Carleton was shooting 61% from the field at halftime, and had their depth shining as well, as the bench had produced 28 points at the midway mark, compared to just 6 from the Brock reserves.
Carleton came out with a 10-0 run to start the 3rd quarter, and held the Badgers to just 8 total points in the frame, as they began to secure the lead and cement the victory. As Carleton’s victory became apparent, head coach Taffe Charles took his four graduating players out of the game en masse, as the crowd at the Ravens’ Nest responded to the group substitution with loud applause.
After the game, Joseph was sure to give a shoutout to everyone that had helped get to that point in his career, while Anderson took the time to mention “Ryan Ejim my guy, Gavin Resch, Guillaume, Kaza Keane, Joe Rocca, and a lot of other guys in my head right now”. Mayambo recognized the entire Carleton basketball program, focusing on his three head coaches Rob and Dave Smart and Taffe Charles, as well as assistants and all his teammates from throughout his career. Tutu was also sure to recognize Dave Smart as the person who gave him the opportunity to “make one of the best decisions of my life coming (to Carleton). I’ve never really had a male figure in my life outside of my father who cared for me so much on and off the court like he does, so I appreciate him a lot”. Tutu went on to mention the coaching staff who “pushed me every day to be a better man and player and player and molded me into who I am today”, as well as his teammates as well as the alumni who had shown him what it means to be a Raven.
For the Ravens, the most important stretch of the season begins now, as the OUA playoffs begin later this week. Carleton earned a first round bye thanks to their strong regular season record, further emphasizing the importance of the two wins that they picked up this weekend after losing to UOttawa at Capital Hoops last weekend. “We needed this. We came together as a group and that’s what we need to do moving forward into playoffs”, said Joseph after the game. “When we come together as a group, I don’t think anyone’s beating us”.