Ravens Triumph to Reach 7 Straight Titles

 

Kaza Kajami-Keane pilots the Ravens to a 7th straight U-Sports title              (photo – Darren Calabrese/The Canadian Press)

#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   

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Overtime –

  • 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.

    Ryan Ejim has been a big force inside for the Ravens.

    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 

Rams Challenge Ravens in All- OUA National Final

 

 

Ravens chasing 7 straight, after their defense stops the Redmen

Ravens Connor Wood to the hoop vs McGill  – (photo – Trevor MacMillan)

#2  Carleton Ravens 74    #3 McGill Redmen  58 –  The Ravens stay on track as they chase their 7th straight National crown.  CU get out to a 17 point lead at the break, and hold steady in the 2nd half. Again, their offensive rebounding gives them a big edge (14-7), and their ball-handling is 100% better (only 9 TOs) than it was in their 1st round win against Calgary.

The Black Birds’ 3 point shooters weren’t hot as a team, but Connor Wood had his usual sharp eye, cashing 4/7 from outside, as he led the scoring with 20 pts plus 5 rebounds. Kaza Kajami-Keane, who, along with Wood, hardly left the floor,  had a serious impact at both ends, with 16 points/ 5 rebounds/ 7 assts/ 3 steals.  Eddie Ekiyor and Emmanuel Owootoah hit 10 points each, with Ekiyor adding 6 rebounds.

The Redmen threw their vaunted defense at Carleton, led by the three-some of Dale Ogundokun, Jenning Leung, and Michael Peterkin, and except for the 25 points surrendered in the 2nd quarter, they were solid.   Foul shooting let the Reds down, as they hit just  61% on 14/23 attempts, while the defending champions score 15/19 – 79% at their end.

It was the Ravens defense that made the big statement, limiting McGill shooters to 37.5% FG, with Leung the MU high man at 13 points, largely on his fine 4/9 from 3 point range.  Ogundokun  toiled for a full 38 minutes  for his 10 pts/ 7 rebounds/ 5 assists.

Carleton will play Ryerson, the team to whom they lost the recent OUA title game, in the U-Sports Final on Sunday at 1 pm.   Ryerson meets Dalhousie for the bronze at 10:30.

Box Score  

 

Rams survive a ‘back-yard brawl’ in win over Dalhousie

Ryerson’s  Adika Peter-McNeilly  shoots over McGill’s  Warren Liang                                        (photo – Trevor MacMillan)

#1  Ryerson  Rams 59  #5 Dalhousie Tigers 58 –  This was a tense nail-biter of a contest, with neither team able to operate a consistently efficient attack vs the other’s defense.  A total of 41 turnovers, and  36-37% shooting  reduced the ‘marks for artistic impression’.  This was more of a ‘back-alley brawl, with one star from each team being assessed the magic 5 fouls.

In fact, it may have been Richie  Kanza  Mata’s  5th with 3:10 remaining that took away a necessary key for the Tigers.  Ammanuel Diressa drew his 5th for the Rams, but not until the final seconds.

Up by 10 early in the 2nd quarter, Dal found themselves fighting desperately in the final frame, on the short end of a 56-50 count at the 4:30 mark. Diressa hits a pair of free throws for Ryerson to make it 59-56 with just under a minute on the clock. Sven Stammberger hit 2 freebies for Dalhousie, but that was all the scoring, as Kashrell Lawrence’s 3 point attempt for the Dal win bounces off with 3 seconds left.

Filip Vujadinovic, a 3rd year, 6-7 forward from Burlington, ON, had 16 points/ 5 rebs as 6th man for the OUA champs.  He got help from Diressa , who hit 15 pts/ 3 rebs/ 2 steals, and Adika Peter-McNeilly, with his 13 pts/ 7 rebs/ 3 steals.

The Tigers could not complete this one critical come-back to reach the gold medal game, with only 5 points off their bench.  Lawrence tallied 16 pts/ 8 rebs/ 3 steals, and Jarred Reid chipped in with 13 pts/ 8 rebs/3 steals .       Box Score     

Ryerson get a crack at Carleton again in the all-OUA  National Final, while the Tigers meet McGill for the bronze. Sunday: bronze-medal game, 10:30 a.m.; gold-medal game, 1 p.m.

The Championship Final will be on Sportsnet One, with the Bronze Medal contest available via webcast on U-Spots TV1

 

Consolation Final – Calgary Dinos 96  Saint Marys Huskies 65 –   ‘Playing possum’ ?  We’re not sure, but the Dinos go down 38 – 34 in a not atypically slow 1st half, and then … 62 in the final 20 minutes?!  Nice half-time ‘refresher’ !  There are 39 turnovers in this somewhat predictable ‘YMCA’ Classic .

This one turns into a blow-out in the 3rd , with Calgary on their way to 58.5% shooting from the field, vs 32% for the Huskies. UC are 8/15 – 53% from 3 vs 21% for SMU. Thomas Cooper has another fine effort with 28 points in his final game for Calgary, adding 8 rebs/ 4 assists/ 4 steals. Mambi Diawara is sharp again with 15 pts/ 6 assts/ 4 steals, and Connor Foreman follows up a good one on Friday with 14 points in 16 minutes here.

For SMU, it’s Marquis Clayton the leader with 18 pts/ 6 rebs, then Will Flander scoring 9 with 7 boards and 3 steals, and Achuil Lual scoring 10 pts/ 5 rebs .   Box Score   

__________________________________________________________________________

 

Overtime –

  •  The Women’s Finals 8 from Victoria  Saturday – 

Semi #1   Laval 78 vs Queens  67 

Semi #2      McGill 66 vs Carleton 60 

 Consolation Final  –      Regina 79    Saskatchewan  76

  • On Sunday –     bronze medal game  at 10 am (Pacific)  on  U-Sports TV1 Championship at 1 pm   on   Sportsnet 360 TV

Ravens Rebounders, McGill Defense Win Early games

 

 

Offensive boards and 30 point edge off 3s propel Ravens to win

Carleton’s  Connor Wood  makes it a tough shot for the Dinos’ David Kapinga         (photo: Trevor MacMillan)

#2  Carleton 85  #7  Calgary 69 –   The Ravens go up 10 at the half on a run and pitch trey byEmmanuel Owootoah  at the buzzer.  Calgary had played hard at the defensive end, causing 12 turnovers, and slowing-down the Carleton drive, kick, and hit the 3 offense.  Still, the Black Birds were on top having made 7 treys in the opening 20 minutes, and that is deadly for any defense.  With the big rebounding edge for Ravens, Calgary gives up too many extra chances.

Calgary hangs in for much of the 2nd half, and, brings the score within 5 points in both the 3rd and 4th frames.  But, with  about 6 minutes left, the Ravens go on an 11— 0 run to boost it to 16.  There are 5 Carleton players in double figures, as they shoot 47% as a team vs 42% for the Dinos.  The big difference  came from outside shooting, as the Ravens hit 14/35 for 42 pts against UC’s 4/14 for only 12. That’s a tough gap to fill ….

Rebounding by  Carleton did wear down the Dinos, with the final count 48-24, including 17 offensive boards for the defending champs. Carleton had 16 points each from guards Connor Wood, Emmannuel Owootoah, and Kaza Kajami-Keane, with Keane adding 9 assists .  Eddie Eyikor scored 10 plus 7 boards, while big Cameron Smyth cashed 10 and grabbed 9 off the glass.

Thomas Cooper scored 17 for Calgary, plus 6 rebs/ 4 assts, with Mambi Diawara close behind , scoring 15 pts/ 4 asst/ 3 steals.  A brave effort by the Dinos, but the size, rebounding, and shooting of Carleton wins the opener in the 2017 Nationals.   Box Score 

Carleton will play in one semi final vs McGill on Saturday, while Calgary goes Friday at 3 pm Mountain  in the consolation bracket against familiar foe, the Manitoba Bisons.

McGill’s Jenning Leung takes it to the rim against Manitoba      (photo credit: Trevor MacMillan)

#3 McGill  63  #6 Manitoba  53 –  McGill couldn’t have asked for more in terms of the run of play in this offensively-challenged contest .  The Bisons come out looking a little tight, as the McGill defense chokes down Manitoba’s early offensive thrusts.  McGill gets a bigger share of the ball, and convert free throws and a pair of late-on-the-clock treys for a 5 point margin after 20 minutes.

Manitoba picks up their game late in that 2nd quarter, and look more comfortable at the scoring end for a bit. However, the Bisons ball handlers / shooters are ‘off their game’ for the most part. The Redmen win while shooting just 37% from the floor, and 11 for 22 from the foul line!  Just too many sloppy decisions by the Herd.

Manitoba cannot get their break going, and take an uncharacteristically low 8 attempts from 3, and hit just 2.  McGill is only 6/28 from deep, but still come out ahead in that department. Veteran Redmen,  guard Jenning Leung (13 pts) and post work-horse Francois Bourque (13 pts/ 14 rebs/ 4 steals) provide the leadership needed to steer the Reds into the semi-finals.

The Bisons get 13 points apiece from Keith Omoerah (9 rebs/ 4 asst/ 3 steals) and A.J. Basi, who added 3 steals.  Usually productive efforts from other starters were absent, and we can only blame the big stage, and, of course, a rugged McGill defense. Box Score

McGill advance to Saturday’s semi-final against the Carleton Ravens, while Manitoba get to play their Canada West rivals, the Calgary Dinos on Friday at 6 pm Atlantic in the consolation round.

________________________________________________________________________

 

 

Overtime –

  • Kirby Schepp, Manitoba Coach, in a wonderful story in the Winnipeg Sun on the Bisons Ilarion Bonhomme , “In my 25 years coaching, I don’t know if there’s anybody ahead of him in terms of the quality of kid and the person he is  …. He treats everyone from the kid wiping the floor, to the secretary, to his teammates with incredible respect. I see the way he is around kids, around my kids, he’s just awesome.”  
  • The All-Canadian Awards ‘Gala’  was night in Halifax, and Connor Wood, a  5th year guard from the Carleton Ravens, was named the 2017 U SPORTS Men’s Basketball Player of the Year.  He is the 8th Carleton player so honoured over the past 17 seasons.  Wood shot over 50% from the floor and from the 3 point line, averaging 19 ppg.
  • Other U SPORTS award winners –   Ottawa wing man, Caleb Agada, is the Defensive Player of the Year, while Laurentian guard, Kadre Gray, accepted the Dr. Peter Mullins Trophy  as Rookie of the Year.  Carleton’s Dave Smart won his 8th Stu Aberdeen Memorial Trophy  as Coach of the Year, and Dalhousie forward Kashrell Lawrence, won the Ken Shields Award for Academics and Community Service. 
  • 2017  All-Canadians –   1st Team –

Connor Wood , Carleton , 5th year, Guelph, ON

Conor Morgan,  UBC,  4th , Victoria, B.C.

Adika Peter-McNeilly ,  Ryerson ,  5th , Scarborough, ON

Kevin Bercy ,  St Francis Xavier,   4th,  Kanata, ON

Thomas Cooper,  Calgary,  5th,  Chattanooga, TN

 2nd Team –

Kaza Kajami-Keane,   Carleton ,5th, Ajax, ON

Dele Ogundokun, McGill , 4th , Hamilton, ON

Javon Masters,  UNB , 4th, Kitchener, Ont.

Caleb Agada,  Ottawa ,  5th,  Burlington, ON

Shane Osayande,  Saskatchewan ,  4th ,  Toronto, ON

 All-Rookie Team         

Kadre Gray                Laurentian       Toronto, ON

Eddie Ekiyor              Carleton           Ottawa, ON

Scott Kellum              Victoria            Issaquah, WA

Jamaal Potopsingh    UNB               Brampton, ON

Kendrick Jolin            McGill              Pte. Claire, PQ

Ryerson and Carleton Aiming for Rematch

 

Ryerson and Carleton favoured to meet in Championship Final

Can any other team de-rail the favoured Rams – Ravens ?

Final 8  – Round 1 Previews – Thursday games (Atlantic Time)

12 Noon …   #2 Carleton Ravens  vs #7 Calgary Dinos 

The Ravens are aiming at winning their 7th straight National title, and they beat Calgary 101-79 last March in that 6th consecutive triumph.  Coach Dave Smart is the master at preparing his team for this 4 day event, and the Ravens, who are 27-1 against U-Sports teams this season are a daunting foe.

Kaza Kajami-Keane is the catalyst for Carleton’s offense. photo – Ottawa Citizen

Carleton are led by the OUA Player of the Year, Connor Wood, a 6-4, 5th year shooting guard, who pulls the trigger on the long ball as well as anyone in this field.  His back-court partner, Kaza Kajami-Keane, is a powerful, quick play-maker, who scores nearly 15 ppg, but is really the floor leader. The Ravens power in the post will be a huge plus again this Final 8 Tournament, with Eddie Ekiyor, a 6-8 rookie, teaming up with 6-7 Ryan Ejim, a 5th year vet who was so strong in the paint in last year’s win. As back-up, CU has 6-11, Cameron Smyth, a 4th year from Charles Tupper in Vancouver.  They are big, and can overwhelm  most teams.

Calgary were 24-5 vs all Canadian universities, are the ‘wildcard’ pick, and the 3rd Canada West team in the 8 team draw. The Dinos are a fast-paced attacking team, with 5th year wing man Thomas Cooper their scoring leader at 23 ppg.  Cooper will hope to have better luck against the Ravens defenders  in this re-match with Carleton, after he and the Dinos were thwarted in the 2016 Final.

UC  have had a run of injuries late in the season, which has depleted their very deep roster.  Lars Schleuter, a 6-7 wing man with a dangerous 3 point shot, has been out with a high-ankle sprain.  Also on the shelf was Dallas Karch, a 5th year, 6-7 forward, whose size and athleticism has been a big boost for UC.  Jasdeep Gill, another 5th year wing with the ability to score, has had ankle / leg issues, and is a ‘possible’ for Thursday’s game.

David Kapinga, the speedy 3rd year UC point man, can shoot the 3, and put pressure on opposing ball-handlers.  Jhony Verrone, a muscular 6-0, 4th year combo guard from Montreal is proving his worth as a versatile defender.  Mitch Ligertwood is a 6-6, hard-nosed, 4th year  post man, who should be the key guy inside in this smaller Dinos line-up.

Anytime Carleton plays, they are the favourites.  Eastern experts suggest this could be their best team yet. That says a lot about anyone else’s chances, but their lone loss did take place last Saturday.  Calgary a distinct long-shot in this Tournament opener.     Watch on U-Sports TV 1     9 am Mountain

 

2:00 pm  … #3 McGill Redmen   vs  #6  Manitoba Bisons

The Redmen have been dominant in the 5 member RSEQ in recent seasons, as they return to the Nationals for the 5th straight time.  Coached by Quebec Coach of the Year, David DeAveiro, the Redmen are a solid defensive club, with an experienced line-up, even without any 5th year seniors. 

McGill’s  top scorers are guards Jenning Leung (14.5 ppg) , a 6-4, 4th year shooter, who is a native of the Philippines, and 6-2, 4th year, Dale Ogundokun (12.7 ppg/ 7 rebs/ 3.5 assists).  Ogundokun, a Hamilton, ON high school star, was honoured as the Quebec Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year.

Up front the Redmen have 3rd year, 6-8 Noah Daoust, and 6-6 Michael Peterkin, but may be missing their top big man, 4th year, Francois Bourque, a rugged rebounder/scorer/defender who has missed 3 games with an undisclosed injury.

Manitoba have reached this National Tournament for the 1st time in over 30 years, and their seniors are ‘jacked’ with the prospect of competing on this ‘big stage’. Says 4th year  shooting guard , A.J. Basi “Our goal was to get to Halifax at first.  This is like our last week together so we want to make the most of it and we’re all focused on that first game on Thursday against McGill.” (From Global News – Russ Hobson).

Manitoba’s high scoring guard, Justus Alleyn photo – UM Athletics

Basi (13.6 ppg) is one of their key scorers, with his 3 point acumen, and he can be a ball-hawk on defense.  The Herd has a powerful leader in 6-5, 4th year Keith Omoerah, who scores 13.2 ppg, grabs 8.7 rebs and can defend inside and out. Ilarion Bonhomme, a quick, 5-10 import (Washington, DC) point man triggers the Bisons break, and 6-3 Justus Alleyn, is their top scorer at 17.5 ppg, and shooting over 40% from 3 point range.

The Bisons and Redmen should make for a fascinating match-up … McGill with their defense, and Manitoba a quick-strike offense.  This may go down to the wire, if UM can get the hot shooting in a big arena .    (12 noon Central time) 

 

6:00 pm  …   #1  Ryerson Rams  vs  #8  Saint Marys Huskies –  On the surface, this 1-8 match-up suggests a Ryerson win, but the ‘home team’ Huskies will want to have a say before we fill in our semi-final bracket !

Adika Peter- McNeilly is a force for the OUA champion , Ryerson      photo – Rams Athletics

For the 2nd straight season, the Rams are champions of the OUA, having beaten Carleton (86-79) on the Ravens’ home court this time around.  Coach Roy Rana has a team ‘on a roll’, having won 7 of their last 8 and are 22-4 vs U-Sports teams this season.  Ryerson has a pressing, running, and 3 point shooting attack, paced by Adika Peter-McNeilly, a 6-3, 5th year guard, who is the high scorer, but also a quick and headsy defender.  His ‘right-hand man’ is 6-5, 4th year wing, Ammanuel Diressa, who is the #1 disruptor on the defensive end, but also scores in bunches.

The Rams are deep in talent, with 6-8 Adam Voll a big body inside, and 6-6 , Juwon Grannum, a 5th year rebounder, who contributes as well to the 40% + 3 point shooting for the team. Guards Myles Charvis, a former rookie sensation at Waterloo, and quick point man, Roshane Roberts, keep the pressure  coming on defense.

Saint Marys have a history in this National Tournament, having 4 titles to their credit, and have a knack for answering the bell at the Atlantic Tournament, making many Nationals Final 8s.  This year’s squad had a 23-10 U-Sports record, but had limited play outside the Maritimes.

Their core group are led by 5-9 point man, Marquis Clayton, one of 6 Huskies in their 5th year.  Clayton scores 19 ppg, and keys their defense. Theon Reefer, a 6-6, 5th year swing-man, has the quickness to make an impact at both ends, and Brian Rouse, a 6-4 guard, is a tough match-up with his size and scoring touch.  The Huskies have size and experience with 6-8, 5th year post, Achuil Lual, and 6-6, 3rd year, Kingston, ON product, Brent Martindale.

A close 2nd (60-63) to the AUS champs, Dalhousie, Saint Marys pose a threat to Ryerson if they can get their offense on track against the Rams’ press.  This game will be at a very high pace, and turnovers could kill that Huskies attack. Ryerson should prevail, but Saint Marys know this court very well.

 

8:00 pm …   #4 Alberta Golden Bears  vs #5 Dalhousie Tigers –  Two League champions tip-off in the feature game of the night on Thursday, and aggressive defense is a calling card for both teams.

Alberta’s Mamadou Gueye has been a play-off stand-out for the Bears this season.

The Bears are playing their best basketball of the season at just the right time, with an impressive weekend of play in capturing their 12th Canada West  title with convincing wins over Saskatchewan 83-70, and Manitoba 92-73.  They are among the League leaders in points allowed at 74 ppg, and they shoot a CW best 40.6% from 3 point range.

Their forward combo of 4th year Mamadou Gueye, a 6-6 Quebec native, and 2nd year Brody Clarke, a 6-7  Toronto product gives them inside scoring and leads a strong rebounding team effort.  Clarke, the son of former Canada national team star, Norm Clarke ,  will require extra attention from Dal defenders in the paint.  Gueye saved his best games for the Canada West Final 4, and he is a threat from anywhere with his offensive explosiveness.

Austin Waddoups, a 6-2 import guard (Utah)  has been a major addition, and he controls the pace as a point man, but also hits the timely trey on a regular basis. Coach Barnaby Craddock utilizes guards Dwan Williams (6-2, 2nd year, Toronto)   and  6-5 , 4th year, import shooter, Geoff Pippus as complimentary weapons, and both can score when needed.  7-1 Brett Roughead is in his 5th year, and can make things tough on the interior.

Dalhousie will have big local support, and count on their veteran core of senior vets Kashrell Lawrence, Richie Kanza Mata, and Sven Stammberger to lead the way.  The Tigers return to this Final 8 for the 2nd straight season, with a 25-10 record, and wins over Ryerson and Brock earlier this year.

Lawrence,  a 5th year, and only 6-2, is a muscular dynamo up front, and galvanizes teammates and Dal fans with his rugged play on the boards, and in scoring against bigger opponents. Kanza Mata was voted the AUS Defensive Player of the Year, but he can also score from an offense that led the Atlantic League in FG% at almost 47%.

Last season’s U-Sports Rookie of the Year, 6-0 Jordan Aquino-Serjue, is a valuable 6th man off the bench, and 5th year guard, 6-3 Jared Reid, is a solid wing man with a nice offensive game.  In reserve, the Tigers have a pair of big posts in 6-7 Ryall Stroud (tsf Queen’s), and 6-10 import, Sascha Kappos (Miami, FL) .

This promises to be an entertaining finale for Thursday’s card, and picking a winner here may be tough.  Both teams will aim to make life difficult with physical defense, and the ability of the scorers on both squads to break free will be paramount.   This is a 5 pm Mountain tip-off.

Remember, you can   Watch on U-Sports TV 1

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Overtime –

Dave Smart, Carleton, is Canada’s winningest coach

  • Coaching records (U-Sports overall) for the 8 Head coaches in this tournament –    Dave Smart, Carleton – 520-46 (.919) … Roy Rana, Ryerson – 139-69 (.668)  … Dave De Aveiro, Ottawa / McGill – 341-183 (.651) … Jonah Taussig, Saint Marys – 99-67 (.596) … Barnaby Craddock – Brandon, UFV, Alberta – 221-151 (.594) … Rick Plato, Dalhousie – 76-53 (.589) … Dan Vanhooren, Calgary – 304-213 (.588) … Kirby Schepp, Manitoba – 112-124 (.475)
  • This National Championship Final 8 Tournament returns to Halifax for the first time since 2012.  The event will have been played in this venue a total of 30 times in the 44 years since competition began back in 1963.

 

 

Dinos and Huskies Get Set

 

 

No Contest for Dinos in Saskatoon

> Graham Shootout – U. Saskatchewan

David Kapinga with 9 steals has the Dinos rolling on Friday

David Kapinga with 9 steals has the Dinos rolling on Friday  – photo David Moll, UC Athletics

Calgary Dinos  110  Red Deer Coll. Kings 62 –  the Dinos ran amok, behind the 9 steals from David Kapinga, who added 15 points and 4 assists.  Thomas Cooper led UC scorers with 24 pts/ 8 rebounds/ 3 assists, while Jhony Verrone was a perfect 3/3 from the floor and 4/4 FTs for his 11 points in 14 minutes. Mambi Diawara matched Kapinga’s 15 points, as the Montreal product grabbed 5 rebounds as well.  Red Deer got 13 pts apiece from Shayne Stumpf and Ian Tevis.  64 Calgary points in the opening 20 minutes put the game out of reach.  The Calgary defense gave up just 22 points in the 2nd half.

at Saskatchewan Huskies 83  Algoma T-Birds 52 –  The Huskies dominate with 51 in the final 20 minutes, shooting 14/29 from 3 pt range for the game.  4 ‘Dogs in double figures, with Alex Unruh 6/6 FG and 4/4 from 3 for 16 points/5 boards/4 assists.  Shane Osayande also counts 16 and adds 8 boards and 4 blocks.  It’s 46-30 for U of S off the glass. Algoma gets 10 points each from Jermaine Lyle and Nathan Riley.   Box Score 

Calgary and Saskatchewan meet on Saturday to decide the tournament championship.

>  Lea Marc Printing Tournament – at U. Winnipeg

Winnipeg 91  Dakota College – Bottineau 77  –  The unbeaten (5-0) Wesmen have 5 in double figures, led by big man, Ryan Oirbans with 19 points and 8 rebounds, while William Sesay hits 10 rebounds and 4 assists.  Rookie Nacisse Ambanza chalks up 10 points, 4 board, and 6 helpers.  The Ws control the boards by a wide 59-39 margin.   Box Score    

Brandon 73   Manitoba  63 – The Bobcats get another win and Manitoba continues to struggle.  Icy 33% shooting from the floor kills the Herd in this one.  BU gets a gem from Earl Thompson Jr., with 26 points, 9 boards, and 4 assists. The ‘Cats hit 7 treys to just 2 for Manitoba. The Bisons have 20 points from Amarjit Basi.   Box Score

Winnipeg hosts Manitoba on Saturday in the downtown showdown, part 1.

> Golden Bears Invitational – at U of A

at Alberta Golden Bears 84  Nipissing Lakers 67 –  The Bears out-shoot the Lakers 50% to 36% from the floor, and this decides the hard-fought game. Mamadou Gueye has another stellar game, with 19 points / 11 rebounds, and newcomer Austin Waddoups   has 14 plus 8 big assists.  Marcus Lewis scores 16 and grabs 9 rebounds for Nipissing.  Box Score 

 UBC Thunderbirds 94 Western Ontario Mustangs 70

> Also out West –    at Lethbridge Pronghorns 71  Bishops Gaiters 69 –  The ‘Horns new British import, Elliott Sentance, looks like a ‘keeper’, as he continues to pace their offense, with 23 points/ 6 rebounds/ 4 steals.  Lethbridge out-shoots the Gaiters just enough from both the floor (41%-39%) and from the stripe (15/20 to 11/21) to make up for a 42-33 rebound deficit.  Mike Pierzchala chips in 18 for the home side, who get a solid win against a good Bishops squad.  The Purple have David Belanger with a nice double of 18 points and 14 rebounds.   Box Score  

 

> At the McGill Redbird Tournament-mcgill-copy

McGill Redmen 79  UBC-Okanagan Heat 59 – The Redmen take care of business on home court, as the defense holds the Heat to 34% FG shooting .  Jenning Leung hits 5/9 from 3 point range for the Redmen, and leads all scorers with 24. McGill hits 15 from outside as a team.  Okanagan gets 13 from Aldrich Berrios off the bench, and David Manshrek contributes 12 pts/ 5 rebs.       Box Score  

McMaster Marauders 87 Laurentian Voyageurs 68

> RBC Brock Classic – 

Regina Cougars 83 Guelph Gryphons 74 – The Cougars get 17 points from Johneil Johnson, as they make a big run in the 2nd half in their opening game at the Brock Tournament in St. Catharines. Alex Igual scored 11, and had 7 big assists.  Regina hit 10 treys to just 3 for the Gryphs, which really was the decisive factor in a nice road win for U of R. .

 Brock Badgers 78  Ryerson Rams 68

Windsor Lancers 79  UQAM Citadins  76

Dalhousie Tigers  84  York Lions 59

Also in the East –  

Cape Breton ‘Capers Classic’ –  Acadia 90   St. Mary’s 88 ,       St. FX 104 Cape Breton 88  , UPEI 101 Holland Coll. 85

 and   Queens 84  U. New Brunswick  83  OT


 

Overtime –

  •   Errata … the Bears and UBC T-Birds are not meeting at the GB Invitational.  We are also reminded that St. Catharines has an ‘a’ and not an ‘e’ in the middle.  Thanks to ‘old Badger grad’, Allen Wright, for his keen eye!  York Lions (no Yeomen) …. Actually it’s the meeting of the Lions and Tigers tonight! 
  • McGill Redmen play in the Quebec League … strong team, great school tradition.  Why do we have a ‘Redbird Classic’ Basketball Tournament?  Who are the Redbirds?  Confused Western writer needing more information!

 

 

Consolation Semis are Both Close Affairs

Two consolation games see teams bounce back and play well

  Ottawa 78  Thompson Rivers  77 –  The first consolation semi on Friday had a strong effort from both teams despite the obvious disappointment  of 1st round losses they had suffered the night previous. Multiple lead changes, as both teams made good use of the outside shot, especially TRU, who went 13/21 from long range.
Ottawa also made 13 deep ones, but took 39 shots to get there. Caleb Agada, with his Ott G-Gspenetration down the lane, was the game’s high scorer with 24 points (7 rebs/ 4 assts) on 9/17 shooting, with MacKenzie Morrison hitting 4/8 attempts from 3 point range for 16 points.
TRU got a great game from big forward, Volodymyr Iegorov, who counted 21 points/ 6 rebounds, and hitting 4/6 from outside. Josh Wolfram scored 14 and added 12 rebounds, and Luke Morris scored 15 with 6 boards.
Ottawa advances to the Consolation final at 12 noon on Saturday vs UBC, while that’s the season for the ‘Pack, who see the final game for stars Reese Pribilsky and Josh Wolfram.   Box Score

 UBC 69   McGill 68 –  With another red-hot start, UBC led 43-27 at the break, and carried a double digit lead into the 4th quarter.  But, like Thursday’s game the ‘Birds saw this one slipping away in the final minutes;  the Redmen stormed back with a 22-11 last UBC T-Birdquarter, as Jenning Leung hit 3 treys within a minute’s play .
McGill would not let go, despite trailing for the whole game, until the final minute, when they caught and passed the hosts. With 25 seconds left, Jordan Jensen-Whyte hit 2 clutch free throws to get the win for the locals. David Wagner had 21 for UBC / 6 rebounds, while Conor  Morgan scored 16  points/ 4 rebs. The Thunderbirds shot 49% from the floor to McGill’s 36% , but the visitors cashed 9 long balls to only 4 for the home side.
Leung and Dele Ogundokun both scored 15 for McGill, with Ogundokun adding 5 rebs/ 5 steals. UBC’s 25 turnovers almost caused a complete reversal in this game, and the McGill rally was helped by their 37-34 rebounding advantage.
UBC goes on to the Consolation final on Saturday at 12 noon vs Ottawa, and the young McGill team are done for the season. Box Score


 

 

Saturday’s schedule –

12 noon – Consolation final : UBC vs Ottawa

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3:00 pm – Championship semi-final 1 –  Dalhousie vs Carleton

5:30  – Championship semi-final 2 –  Calgary vs Ryerson

>>> Carleton has 11 CIS titles in the last 13 seasons … UBC has 2 titles, in 1970 and 1972 … neither Calgary nor Dalhousie have ever won this National Champioship.

Both Championship semis will be shown on Sportsnet 360.

Ravens, Rams, Dinos, Tigers on to Semis

 

Ejim’s rebounding carries Ravens to semi-finals

8 offensive rebounds and 26 points by Ryan Ejim pace Carleton to a Q-final win over TRU.

8 offensive rebounds and 26 points by Ryan Ejim pace Carleton to a Q-final win over TRU.

 Carleton 91 Thompson Rivers  75 –  The relentless Carleton effort on the offensive boards paid off with 10 extra chances by half-time, and the Ravens are up 38-33.  The most remarkable thing is the lack of 2nd quarter scoring, as the teams come out of quarter 1 with a 29-23 count, then cool off considerably.  CU hits just 33% from the floor in that opening 20 minutes .

Foul  trouble for TRU big men, Josh Wolfram and Volodmyr Iegorov , threatens to torpedo the ‘Pack’s effectiveness, but they finish the game with the line-up intact. As the game enters the 3rd quarter,  it’s a 5 point game Carleton’s way, but that rebounding, and some improved 3 point shooting by the Ravens extends it to 9-10-12. Brief rests for the TRU starters don’t appear to be enough, and they are flagging with 4-5 minutes left.

Ryan Ejim does the ‘blue collar’ work for Carleton, seemingly claiming every 2nd miss on the O-glass, as he tallies 26 on 11/14 shooting, all within 6 feet of the hoop. CU’s 54-37 rebounding edge is led by Ejim’s 14, and Guillaume Boucard’s 13 rebounds. Connor Wood scores 18 points on 5/13 from outside, and the winners get 15 apiece from Bouchard and Tajinder Lall.

The ‘Pack are led by the 22 points of Gerard Gore and 14 points / 10 boards from Voldymyr Iegorov. TRU hits 47% from the  floor, but only 5 treys to 11 for the Ravens.  Josh Wolfram comes on in the 2nd half, scoring 17 points, as he and Reese Pribilsky close out their memorable careers in this championship competition.
Carleton’s attacking style wears down the Wolves, whose lack of depth inevitably caught up with them in this level of play.  The Ravens move on to the semi-finals on Saturday against Dalhousie, while TRU plays Friday at 5 pm  in a consolation match with Ottawa.     Box Score

 

Tigers steal Ottawa’s thunder with aggressive defense down the stretch

Richie Kanza-Mata and his Dal Tigers teammates use their pressure defense to edge the Ottawa Gee-Gees.

Richie Kanza-Mata and his Dal Tigers teammates use their pressure defense to edge the Ottawa Gee-Gees.  photo Halifax Chronicle-Herald

Dalhousie 87  Ottawa  83  –  Two unusual sequences turn this game in Dalhousie’s favour: just before the half, and down by 7, the Tigers steal, and Jarred Reid hits 2 free throws on an intentional (clear-path?) foul, so Dal gets the ball as well. On the buzzer,  Jordan Aquino-Serjue makes a 3-point bomb, and it’s 52-50 !  Then in a  mini-run by the Tigers in the 2nd half, Ottawa turns it over 3 out of 4 trips, and Dal takes the 4 point lead mid-way through the 4th.

The pressure from a quick and determined Tigers team gave Ottawa fits as the game moved into the late stages, 24 trips to the line for 16 points gave the Atlantic champs the edge vs 5/10 for the Gee-Gees. Both teams shoot the ball well, with Dal at 50% and Ottawa 49% from the floor, as UO lives and dies with  the long ball (12/35).  Dal’s fast hands and faster feet produce 24 Ottawa turnovers , resulting in 31 Dalhousie points.
Ritchie Kanza-Mata closes strongly and racks -up 24 points to lead the Tigers, adding 4 assts/ 3 steals, while Kashrell Lawrence uses his power on the inside to score 14 / 6 rebounds / 4 steals.

The Ponies have Matt Plunkett hitting 5/10 from outside for 17 points, and Mike L’Africain, the CIS Player of the Year, scoring 16 / 3 rebs/ 7 assts. The Tigers play in Saturday’s 3 pm semi-final against the 5 time-defending champion, Carleton Ravens, while Ottawa go to the Consolation side vs Thompson Rivers at 5 pm Friday.
Box Score

 

Kapinga’s thievery leads to late heroics for Calgary over McGill

Calgary's defensive ace, David Kapinga, harasses McGill ballhandlers in a Dinos win Thursday in Vancouver.

Calgary’s defensive ace, David Kapinga, harasses McGill ballhandlers in a Dinos win Thursday in Vancouver.

Calgary  72  McGill  69 –  Tense.  This was the tough, tight game we anticipated, with defense controlling things much of the way, and deciding it at the finish as Calgary’s David Kapinga picked McGill’s pocket twice in the final minutes .  Free throws were also critical as Dinos shooters were 10/10 in the 4th quarter, including  2 by Thomas Cooper to give them the 3 point lead.
It was a physical game , with a lot of contact on drives to the hoop, and a little rolling around on the hardwood after loose balls.  McGill got off to a good start, hitting some pure treys by Jenning Leung, and getting strong rebounding early. Calgary’s 25 point 2nd quarter was the difference, in a game where hoops became more and more scarce.

The Dinos Thomas Cooper was shackled  for much of the game, but still snuck in 21 points, with 7/10 from the line.  The Redmen pressured Calgary’s 3 point shooters and allowed little open space out on the perimeter. The Dinos  hit only 5 treys vs 10 for the Reds, and that kept McGill out front for a good part of the 2nd half.
Calgary had 12 points from Johnny Verrone coming off the bench, and Kapinga scored 11/ 2 asst/ 4 steals. Cooper led their rebounding with 9, with Lars Schleuter and Matt Letkeman grabbing 5 each.

McGill were led by 19 from Dele Ogundokun / 5 res/ 4 assts, and 15 from Leung, with 5/10 from outside.   McGill had 19 turnovers and Calgary 17, in what was, at times, a very scrappy contest.  The Dinos pull one out with some stingy defense and good foul-shooting in the final minutes, and they move on to the 5:30 semi-final on Saturday, and the Redmen will play in the 5:00 consolation game Friday.  Box Score

 

On the brink, the Rams storm back for the OT win vs UBC

Coach patrick Taham and his Ryerson Rams 'snatched victory from the jaws of defeat' vs UBC in their Thursday Q-final.

Coach Patrick Taham and his Ryerson Rams ‘snatched victory from the jaws of defeat’ vs UBC in their Thursday Q-final.

 

Ryerson 109 –  UBC  101 –  Just when the UBC student section (with 2:10 left – far too early)  were suggesting in a loud chorus that the Ryerson Rams were ‘Over-rated’ ,  the T-Birds’ Conor Morgan fouled out,  the OUA champs dug deep, hit free throws, a lay-up off a steal, and a 3 pointer to take it to OT !
The Rams are now the attackers, and create the better chances in extra time, to pull out a classic win to continue their route to the semi-final.  UBC has to leave wondering how this could have happened, when they looked so solid in the early going, and made some clutch hoops early in the 4th to ‘dare to dream’ of the 8 – 1 upset !

Adika Peter-McNeilly paced the Rams with 25 points/ 9 rebounds, and both rugged, yet smooth guard, Ammanuel Diressa, and the late game hero, Jean-Victor-Mukama counted 19 apiece.  Ryerson won the battle on the boards 42-31, and out-shot the Thunderbirds 21/27 to 13/17 from the foul line. UBC’s David Wagner was dominant inside in the first 3/4s to score 22, but Ryerson defenders made it harder for him later in the going. Jordan Jensen-Whyte was also a stand-out for the ‘Birds, with 25 points on slashing drives and 8/9 from the line.
Ryerson won this game with some more intense interior defending, and opportunistic conversions off UBC misses toward the end of regulation.  It was a testimony to the resilience of a championship team, and they played their best when it counted most.
In the end they appear to have been rated pretty accurately ….

Ryerson, the OUA champions vs Calgary , the Canada West title winners, at 5:30 pm Saturday in the 2nd semi-final.  UBC plays McGill at 7 pm Friday in the late Consolation game.  Box Score


 

 

Overtime –

  • Headline of the week, in  ‘Kamloops This Week’ – ‘WolfPack draw Ravens; fan bus departs Thursday’ … details , “Fan buses will depart from Thompson Rivers University for UBC on Thursday morning, in advance of the Wolf  Pack’s tournament-opening matchup.  Buses will depart from the Campus Activity Centre at 7:30 a.m. For $20, fans receive a game ticket, transportation to the tournament, a t-shirt and pizza and pop for the return trip. Coffee will be available in the morning, from 7 a.m. until departure.”  Great work by TRU to get their fans to the game!
  • Dalhousie Coach Rick Plato , with confidence in his team, “If the Tigers claw their way into national semifinals, they’ll be making Dalhousie basketball history”, Plato said. “I think there is redemption on their part,” he said of his players. “Knowing how close they were to … for the first time ever, getting Dal to a national semifinal.”  (Lost to UVic 57-56 in round 1 last year).  “I believe in these guys,” Plato said. “They’re not the biggest, they’re not the fastest, they’re not the quickest, but as a group – they’re a pretty special team.” Simply put, Plato said, “if we play our game, we’re going to win.” From Kristen Lipscombe, Vancouver Metro News