OUA East Final: Ravens advance to Wilson Cup
OTTAWA - The No. 2 nationally-ranked Carleton Ravens men's
basketball team has advanced to the 2009-2010 OUA championship game
with a 78-64 win over the No. 5 Ottawa Gee-Gees in the
much-anticipated semifinal match-up at a packed Ravens' Nest
In the first quarter of play, the Gee-Gees gained the first possession of the game but could not capitalize on the offensive end, swarmed by an aggressive Carleton defence. A turnover on the other end gave the Gee-Gees a second opportunity on offence, putting up the first three points of the game. The Ravens came back with four offensive rebounds in one possession, with a final reward of putting up their first two points. uOttawa continued its aggressive attack on offence against the Ravens, taking an early lead.
With five minutes remaining in the first, the Ravens started going to regular season leading scorer Kevin McCleery (Ottawa) who made things happen on the offensive end for the home team. Defensively the Ravens dug in, causing the Gee-Gees to panic and create turnovers. Third-year guard Cole Hobin (Ashton, Ont.) did a great job defensively against uOttawa's leading scorer and OUA East player of the year, Josh Gibson-Bascombe (Toronto), who has scored an average of 20 points per game in the regular season.
The Ravens earned their first lead of the game with two minutes left, but both teams would battle for the remainder of the quarter and the Gee-Gees came out on top with a slim 15-14 lead.
In the second quarter, the Ravens came out more aggressively on offence, playing the inside-out game and slowly pulling away from the visiting Gee-Gees. Hobin was the player to watch in the first half, scoring 16 of the Ravens points. On the other end, the Gee-Gees were not successful in making things happen on offence slowly fading in momentum. The Ravens were able to keep the Gee-Gees to single digits in the second quarter of play while scoring 17 of their own. Carleton would go into the halftime break with a 32-23 lead.
To start the second half, the Gee-Gees again came out loud, scoring the first two points. But, the Ravens would have nothing of it, coming back with a three-ball and continuing to take the thunder away from the Gee-Gees. With five minutes remaining, the Ravens went back to McCleery in the post, managing to increase their lead to 18 points. The Gee-Gees struggled to keep up with the Ravens, trailing 60-41 after the third quarter.
After regrouping at the quarter break, the Gee-Gees again opened with two back-to-back threes from Gibson-Bascombe forcing the Ravens to put Hobin back on the floor as he was the only Raven to successfully put a stop to Gibson-Bascombe's offence. It looked like the Gee-Gees would turn the game into a repeat of the last time the two teams met, where uOttawa forced the game into overtime, losing by only one point after trailing by double digits for the majority of the game.
uOttawa's ability to take control early quickly reduced the Ravens' lead to eight points before Hobin sank a three pointer to break the Gee-Gees' 13-0 run. Third year guard for the Ravens and a former member of the Gee-Gees, Willy Manigat (Montreal), hit a field goal shortly thereafter to increase the lead to 13.
With a minute remaining in the last quarter of play, the Ravens had a 12-point advantage, forcing the Gee-Gees to burn some fouls and put the Ravens on the free throw line. The Gee-Gees outscored Carleton in the last quarter, 23-18, but the Ravens had built up a large enough lead unreachable to the visiting team and came away with the 78-64 win.
The Ravens were led by Hobin who had a game high 25 points and was named the Wilson Canada player of the game. Teammate McCleery added 20 points in the win.
Warren Ward, a second year guard from London, Ont. led the way for the Gee-Gees with 20 points. Gibson-Bascombe added 17 points in the loss.
Carleton will face the No. 7 Windsor Lancers on Saturday, March 13 in the OUA final as the Ravens look for their sixth OUA title since 2003. The Gee-Gees will play in the bronze medal game against the No. 8 Lakehead Thunderwolves.
Source: Carleton Ravens