#2 Carleton Ravens 78 #1 Ryerson Rams 69 – The Ravens win their 7th straight U-Sports National Championship, the 2nd team, after the 1980-’86 Victoria Vikes, to ever accomplish that amazing feat. Carleton also have an unprecedented 13 titles in 15 seasons from their 1st championship in 2003.
Prior to the game, Coach Dave Smart was talking up the strength of the opposing Ryerson Rams and suggesting that his Ravens would be hard-pressed to stay with the 2 -time OUA champions. But, as they have for so many years, Carleton came out with a purpose, and they flew to an 11 point lead at the half, as the Rams could manage only 30% from the field.
The lead swells to 24 for the defending champs by the mid-point in the 3rd period, despite the rare cold-shooting afternoon from Canadian University Player of the Year, Connor Wood. A noted 3-point assassin, in his 5th and final season, Wood can only sink 1 of 8 FG attempts, and is 0/7 from outside.
Ryerson rallies for the next 13 minutes, and their quick hands create some discomfort for the Ravens’ guards. Closing to within 6 points with 1:30 left in the 4th, the Rams are halted by Wood’s lone basket and subsequent and-one free throw at the 20 second mark.
Three Carleton scorers do hit double figures, with 5th year forward Ryan Ejim pacing them with 19 pts/ 9 rebs. 5th year point guard Kaza Kajami-Keane controls play for much of the game, finishing with 15 points and 11 rebounds, while 6th man guard, Emmanuel Owootoah, scored all of his 12 points on 4 of 7 from 3 point range.
The Rams just did not shoot the ball well enough to win. They are 35% from the floor, and 65% from the line. Their 2nd half rally came from too far back, and they fall short at the finish. Adika Peter-McNeilly is the game’s high scorer with 23 points, and post man Adam Voll contributes 12 points / 9 rebounds. Ammannuel Diressa fights some early frustration, and chips in with 11 points / 7 boards.
This is an historic win for Coach Smart and the Ravens, who prove once again, that they are the team to beat for the foreseeable future. Box Score
Tigers use their defense and free throws to win the bronze
#5 Dalhousie Tigers 69 #3 McGill Redmen 63 – You shoot 37% from the floor, and the opponent hits 50%. They hit 8 treys, and you only 2 ! Trouble, yes? Well, not in this case. Dalhousie forces 21 McGill turnovers, and the Tigers binge on 27/37 free throws vs 9/13 for the Redmen.
Quirky scoring summary … 2 Dal starters, Jarred Reid and Ritchie Kanza Mata, count all their points from the foul line. 8 of 9 for Reid and 9/11 from Kanza Mata. The Tigers get 20 points/ 5 rebs from Sven Stammberger, and Jordan Aquino-Serjue hits 10 points off the bench.
McGill spread the scoring, with 3 in double digits, led by 17 from the dependable Jenning Leung, as he cashes 4 of 6 attempts from 3. Francois Bourque scores 14 and adds 9 boards, while Dale Ogundokun tallies 13 points/ 4 rebs/ 3 assists.
Dal wins the bronze, and were just one shot away from their shot at a championship in Saturday’s semi. McGill is going home empty-handed, despite some very solid play. Box Score
- Neil Murphy, a senior researcher for CW Hoops, reminds us that these 2 finalists, Carleton and Ryerson feature a totally home-grown roster. Unlike most teams in Canada West, neither the Rams nor the Ravens have any import players in their line-up, which is a testimony to the depth of talent in Ontario, we would suggest.
- The Ravens graduate Wood, Kaza Kajami-Keane, Ryan Ejim, and Joe Rocca.
Will those losses mean that the Carleton run is at an end? Probably not … they usually attract top talent every year, and they still have a strong returning group. Ryerson say good-bye to Adika Peter-McNeilly, while Dalhousie is going to miss Kashrell Lawrence, Ritchie Kanza-Mata, Jarred Reid, and Ryan Stroud. McGill has no 5th year players, but a couple of their 4th years may move on. Calgary graduates Thomas Cooper, Jasdeep Gill, Dallas Karch, and 4th year, Mitch Ligertwood. Saint Marys loses starters Marquis Clayton, Brian Rouse, Achuil Lual, and Theon Reefer. (There’s a recruiting challenge!). Manitoba has 4 key players departing – A.J Basi, Ilarion Bonhomme, Jonathan Alexander, and Brett Jewell. Alberta graduates their 7-1 post man, Brett Roughead .
- The Women’s Finals 8 from Victoria Sunday – Championship – McGill 66 Laval 55 – the 1st for McGill. Bronze – Carleton 53 Queens 43