HALIFAX â€” The Carleton Ravens opened defence of their Canadian university men’s basketball championship with an 85-69 victory over Calgary on Thursday.
Connor Wood, Kaza Kajami-Keane and Emmanuel Owootoah scored 16 points apiece for the Ravens, who’ve won six consecutive Canadian titles and a record 12 overall. Kajami-Keane also had nine assists.
“When it really came down to it in the fourth quarter, I thought our depth did some positive things and I think they wore down a bit on the defensive end,” said Carleton head coach Dave Smart. “I think that’s a credit to how hard we work throughout to turn it into a 40-minute game.”
The Ravens will face No. 3 McGill on Saturday in the tournament’s semifinal. Dalhousie will take on Ryerson in Saturday’s other semifinal.
Carleton, the No. 2 seed behind top-ranked Ryerson, had a 17-point lead before the seventh-seeded Dinos clawed back to cut the Ravens’ lead to 62-57 to end the third quarter. The Ravens outscored Calgary 23-12 in the fourth to secure the victory.
Carleton had 14 rebounds in the fourth quarter, and outrebounded Calgary 48-24 on the afternoon.
Thomas Cooper scored 17 points to top the Dinos.
No. 3 McGill booked its spot in Saturday’s semifinal with a 63-53 victory over No. 6 Manitoba.
Francois Bourque had 13 points and 15 rebounds, while Jenning Leung added 15 points to top the Redmen.
McGill held Manitoba to 2-for-8 from three-point range, and outrebounded the Bisons 47-34.
“The key for all our wins is our defence,” said McGill coach Dave DeAveiro. “We held a team today that scores above 80, one of the top-ranked teams offensively in the country, and we shut them down a little bit and made everything difficult for them, turned it into a grind-it-out game, and we’re used to playing those games in our conference.”
Keith Omoerah and A.J. Basi had 13 points each to top the Bisons, who will play Calgary in the consolation round on Friday.
Later, the No.1-seeded Rams survived a scare from the eighth-seeded Saint Mary’s Huskies, holding on to win 79-70.
The Huskies went shot-for-shot with Ryerson, bringing the game to as close as one point with just over two minutes to play, before the Rams would seal the deal on the strength of six straight points from guard Adika Peter-McNeilly.
Guard Ammanual Diressa led the way offensively, with 24 points.
Also, the Tigers pulled out a two-point victory, 67-65 over the Alberta Golden Bears.
With the game on the line, the Tigers put the ball in the hands of their dynamic forward Kashrell Lawrence, and he didn’t disappoint, sinking a layup with 1.4 seconds left to go. Dalhousie then forced a turnover on the ensuing inbound from Alberta to seal the win.
Lawrence finished with a double-double (28 points and 10 rebounds) in the win, while forward Mamadou Gueye had 18 points in the loss.
The Canadian Press