The Carleton Ravens picked the wrong year to set up their toughest preseason schedule to date.
“Do not play down to the level of the competition.” That was one of the many lessons learned from the Kentucky Wildcats’ painful first round exit to No. 15 seed St. Peters in the 2022 NCAA tournament.
Three games into their 2022 Big Blue Bahamas Tour, the Wildcats have shown little to no mercy, blowing out the Dominican Republic National Select Team 108-56 and Mexican side Tec De Monterrey 102-40.
On Saturday night, behind suffocating defence and unconscious three-point shooting, Kentucky added Carleton to their list of early season victims by blowing out the sixteen-time U sports basketball champions 116-58 at the Baha Mar Resort in Nassau, Bahamas.
The humbling 62-point loss ties Carleton’s largest defeat in the history of the 62-year-old men’s basketball program. According to Martin Timmerman’s historical records, the Ravens lost by the same amount on December 7th 1966, falling 110-48 to NYS Teacher’s College in Canton, New York.
Coached by assistant coach K.T. Turner, Kentucky limited Carleton to 23-of-59 (39%) shooting, 3-of-18 (16.7%) from three-pointers and 7-of-10 from the foul-line.
Kentucky knocked down 48-of-82 (58.5%) field goal attempts and buried 11 of its 15 three-pointers in the second-half, including four straight as the lead swelled to a game-high 69 points at 113-44 with 4:11 to play.
“They (Carleton) are a veteran team, and they’re really well coached and solid and sound, we just came out and played hard. I think we have a chance to be really, really good this year.” shared coach Turner during the post-game conference.
“I think we really guarded them, I think that really helped and the way we get out in transition. They do a lot of great things, but one thing they weren’t great at was transition defence, and we really made an emphasis to get out and run.”
Using their superior skill and size advantage, Kentucky forced Carleton into 28 turnovers, converting the Ravens’ miscues into 45 points. The Wildcats also limited the defending Canadian U Sports basketball champions to just two fast break points, compared to 39 of their own.
Carleton tied the score at four before Kentucky exploded on a 19-2 run to take control of the game with a 23-6 edge. UK forced Carleton into 16 first-half turnovers and limited the Ravens to just 25.8% shooting in the opening 20 minutes to take a 55-19 half-time lead.
Six-foot-nine senior forward Jacob Toppin led the way for Kentucky with a game-high 27 points, six assists and two rebounds on 11-of-14 shooting. Chicago native Antonio Reeves also had the hot hand with 23 points, three rebounds, two assists.
All-SEC second team guard Sahvir Wheeler finished with 17 points, six assists, two rebounds and Cason Wallace rounded out the double-figure scorers with 15 points on 3-of-4 made triples.
Oscar Tshiebwe, the 2021-22 ncaa national player of the year came off the bench and scored eights points and grabbed a game-high 13 rebounds in just 22 minutes.
Aiden Warnholtz (Ottawa, Ont.) scored 16 points, five rebounds, three assists but struggled with eleven turnovers. Six-foot-one guard Akado Marjok (Calgary, AB) continue to show flashes with 12 points on 6-of-14 attempts and Connor Vreeken also chipped in with 11 points and two rebounds.
The rebuilding Ravens fall to 0-3 on their 2022 Can-Am Shootout, with losses to the Northeastern Huskies (104-91) and the Florida State Seminoles (98-64). Carleton will close out their NCAA preseason schedule on Tuesday, August 23rd against the Oregon Ducks.
The match-up between the two schools also marked Carleton’s 100th game against NCAA division I competition since 1999. Ravens now have a 43-57 record in those match-ups with only one victory away from the Ravens nest.