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Munis Tutu Carleton Ravens Beat Ole Miss Rebels NCAA Streak Hits Eight Munis Tutu Carleton Ravens Beat Ole Miss Rebels NCAA Streak Hits Eight

U Sports

Carleton Ravens beat Ole Miss Rebels NCAA streak hits Eight

Photo: Munis Tutu - Photo: Edilson J. Silva

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Chuck up another W on the win column and yet another unbreakable Canadian Basketball milestone for Dave Smart and the Carleton University Ravens.

Led once again by the stellar all-around talent of 6-foot junior point guard Munis Tutu (Windsor, Ont.) the Ravens beat visiting Ole Miss Rebels 81-63 to improve their pre-season record to 2-0 and extend their winning streak over NCAA division one teams to eight straight.

Munis Tutu Three Pointer Carleton Ravens Beat Ole Miss Rebels NCAA Streak Hits Eight

Munis Tutu buries one of his 4-of-8 triples as Carleton Ravens beat Ole Miss Rebels – Photo: Edilson J. Silva/BasketballBuzz

Tutu stuffed the stat-sheet with another outstanding all-round performance with 20 points, eight rebounds and seven assists on an efficient 6-of-15 shooting, including 4-of-8 from beyond the arc and a perfect 4-for-4 from the foul line. Munis, a former division transfer from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles racked-up his second straight 20-point effort against a top-caliber team and certainly earned the praise of Ole Miss head coach Kermit Davis during post game.

“I bet most teams in NCAA college basketball would love to have him on their roster right now, he does a great job running this team and getting them organized, his ability to penetrate and find the open shooters put us  in tough situations. They got great toughness and great basketball IQ” acknowledged the first-year Ole Miss bench boss.

Carleton Ravens Beat Ole Miss Rebels NCAA Streak Hits Eight

Carleton Ravens Beat Ole Miss Rebels NCAA Streak Hits Eight – Photo: Edilson J. Silva/BasketballBuzz

For the second straight game the Ravens buckled down, clogged-up the paint and held their opponents to just nine points in the second-quarter, once again helping taking control of the game by half-time with 45-23 lead.

Carleton got solid paint production from Eddie Ekiyor with 16 points and five rebounds on 10-of-16 shooting from the free-throw line. Mitch Jackson started at power forward, played only 10 minutes, but was effective reaching double-figures with 12 points and two rebounds. TJ Lall (9 points, 4 rebounds), Marcus Anderson (6 points, game-high 9 rebounds), Mitch Wood (6 points, 6 rebounds and 6 assists) and freshman Aiden Warnholtz (8 points, 3/5 shooting, 2/3 triples) also played well.

Terence Davis Carleton Ravens Beat Ole Miss Rebels NCAA Streak Hits Eight

Ole Miss Rebels Guard Terence Davis Jr. and Head Coach Kermit Davis – Photo: Edilson J. Silva/BasketballBuzz

Ole Miss senior standout 6’5″ Guard Terence Davis Jr. (Southaven, Miss.) drilled two of his five triples on his way to scoring nine of his game-high 23 pointers in the fourth quarter. The Rebels cut a game-high 26-point deficit to a 11-point game with two minutes remaining before being held scoreless until the final whistle.

“We knew our back was against the wall, we were down 22 at the half, we didn’t want to go down like that and lose by 40 points. That team is pretty good they move ball and they play the right way.” opened up talented guard after the game.

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Davis Jr. declared himself eligible for the 2018 NBA Draft before opting to return to Ole Miss and SEC play to polish his expanding arsenal. “Just becoming more consistent, “I have been working on my ball handing everyday, my jump-shot and the ability to make plays.”

Carleton Ravens Head Coach Dave Smart Versus Ole Miss Rebels NCAA Streak Hits Eight

Carleton Ravens Head Coach Dave Smart pleading his case against Ole Miss Rebels – – Photo: Edilson J. Silva/BasketballBuzz

For Dave Smart and the Carleton Ravens beating NCAA teams is somewhat becoming the norm. Winners of eight straight and 12 of their last 13 Carleton’s recent domination over American teams will likely never be topped. To put it in perspective, no other Canadian U Sports Men’s Basketball other than the Ravens has won more than three straight over NCAA teams, with only the Ottawa Gee-Gees (2x), McGill Redmen, Windsor Lancers accomplishing the feat.

It wasn’t too long ago, that the Ravens like many other Canadian university teams found themselves on the opposite side of the winning column. In fact, at one point, from November 1999 to September 2006 the Ravens lost 16 straight games to NCAA teams.

“I think we got a huge advantage, we start a fifth year, three four year guys and a third, they don’t have any fifth’s. A lot of the good teams they don’t have any fourth’s because they are in big time conferences and they lose guys early to the NBA Draft.” Smart was quick to acknowledge the progression but also clearly understands the factors behind their success.

“When you play the teams that are in the mid-conferences they are a lot more like us. A team like South Dakota State for example is much like us, they have four seniors and four years to develop these guys.”

“It’s a little tough for teams in the SEC and those conferences because if you look at Duke their going to have five new starters next year and yes they are incredible talents, but they are still 19-years old, they’re going to be tough to play against, but, they are going to make mistakes. They’re so many things they can do defensively where they are not going to make mistakes, they’re almost stuck at the switch thing early on the year.” Smart added.

“He’s a really good coach and so Nick Cronin (Cincinnati Bearcats) because they want to win but they get it, it’s August.

With three more games remaining, two against South Dakota State (2x) and Maryland Eastern Shore the streak could reach double-figures and stretch to eleven.

As for Ole Miss Rebels they understand that it’s early August and with one game remaining on their Canadian tour they are not only focused on improving under their new head coach but also soaking in two of Canada’s best cities.

“I love this place, it’s nice. I’m from the country there’s not really much to see – it’s all land so to come to the city is amazing. We went to the theme park (Montreal) the other day and it was the best fun in a while since I was a kid, so I’m having a good time so far.” reflected Terence Davis Jr..

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U Sports

Omar Shiddo: Soft-spoken assassin

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Omar Shiddo: Soft-spoken assassin
Omar Shiddo is Western University's leading scorer this season with 19.4 points per game. Photo: Western Mustangs

It’s around 8:30 p.m. on a frigid Wednesday in the dead of winter, and Omar Shiddo is having his worst game of the season. 

The fourth-year Western Mustangs guard, who has drawn comparisons to Damian Lillard for his clutch shooting, has just five points in the first half of a tight game against the Guelph Gryphons. 

In the second half his game marginally improves, but there are a series of missteps — layups that don’t go down, jump shots that rim out and an occasional lack of motion without the ball. 

Shiddo also gets hit with a technical foul after a physical bucket he felt should have resulted in an and-one, clapping back at two Guelph players who allegedly chirped at him during the play.

This is a far cry from the kinds of performance Shiddo is known for, and light years away from the 35-point outburst he had four days earlier in an 84-79 win over rival McMaster.

It doesn’t matter — not even remotely. 

Western clamps down on defence in the second half and several teammates make big shots. Shiddo helps neutralize Guelph guard Malcolm Glanville, who had 11 first-half points and showed signs of catching fire. 

Shiddo finishes with 12 points on 4-15 shooting, his lowest total of the year. Five other Mustang players players score in double-digits, including 27 points from sharp-shooting guard Eriq Jenkins. 

Western pulls away and cruises to a 94-73 victory that’s as ugly as it is decisive. 

Omar Shiddo: Soft-spoken assassin
Omar Shiddo knocks down a jumpshot

“That’s a win, boys!” someone shouts emphatically as the team gathers for a post-game huddle in the cavernous, mostly-empty Alumni Hall in London, Ont. — Western’s home court. 

“Guys on my team stepped up,” said Shiddo minutes later in an interview, his soft-spoken analysis tumbling out as quickly as he jukes opponents, like water over Niagara Falls.

“The second half was more of other guys doing their thing and me not having to do as much scoring, which I love to do. It’s all about team … we got a big win.” 

Shiddo is unquestionably a leader — and on most nights, the most effective offensive weapon — on a Western team loaded with potential. 

In his tenure, the Mustangs have been as good as they have been in a decade, with a legitimate chance to challenge for a berth in the U Sports Final 8 — Canada’s version of March Madness — in Ottawa.

“That’s our goal from the beginning of the year — trying to get to nationals,” said Shiddo, who grew up in Brampton, Ont., a hotbed that has produced several NBA players, including Cleveland Cavaliers forward Tristan Thompson and former No. 1 pick Anthony Bennett.

“We think we’re a top-five team in the country,” said Shiddo. “We’ve just need to continue to play like it.” 

Western is ranked outside the Top 10 nationally, but has the second-best record in the Ontario University Athletics (OUA), four points behind the Carleton Ravens.

Omar Shiddo: Soft-spoken assassin

They’re also first in the OUA West division, with a roster that skews relatively young: Seven of the 12 players are freshmen or sophomores.

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Nikola Farkic, a 6-foot point guard from Waterloo, is team captain and Jenkins (Windsor, Ont.) is arguably its most reliable three-point threat. Veteran forward Julian Walker (Barrie, Ont.) anchors a front court with considerable promise, thanks in large part to lean, athletic second-year players Aaron Tennant (London, Ont.) and Ukasha Khan (Brampton, Ont.).

“A lot of stuff goes unnoticed on the stat sheet,” said Shiddo. “But we’ve got a full team and we’re 10 deep. Everybody plays their role. We’re not a team where it’s one guy.”

He’s right. This win over Guelph is proof enough of that. And yet in crunch time, Shiddo has a penchant for taking over games, Lillard-style, and making big shots.

It has become part of Western lore. 

When Lillard puts a team on his back and wills it to victory in the fourth quarter, fans and media call it Dame Time. When Shiddo does this, it’s #Omellytime. 

Shiddo showed hints of his #Omelly mentality early against Guelph. After Western fell behind 10-2 in the first quarter, his demeanor shifted from deferential to aggressive, pushing the ball up the floor and calmly making a mid-range jumper to cut the lead to six. 

Minutes later, he drilled a three-pointer to make it 12-7, and attacked the basket for a layup that lingered on the rim but didn’t fall. His teammates took their cue and soon Western had its first lead of the game.

At the end of the first quarter the score was 28-28. At halftime Western led 47-46, and they never looked back. 

“I’m not the rah rah type of — football type of leader,” said Shiddo. “I try to lead by example.

Omar Shiddo: Soft-spoken assassin
Omar Shiddo – Western Mustangs Soft-spoken assassin

“Say what has to be said, and other than that just lead by example. It’s not how much you say, it’s about what you say.”

In U Sports, most teams are at the mercy of a Carleton dynasty that has won 14 of the last 17 national championships.

Western is a long shot to come anywhere near the title game this season, and Carleton is favoured to win it. When the teams meet for a regular-season tilt at Alumni Hall on Jan.  31, it will likely be for the last time. 

Shiddo is nobody’s fool. He knows the odds are stacked against his team, even if he’s at his best and #Omellytime is in full effect. 

His confidence is tempered with realism, but it’s still there.

“Against a team like that we’re not going to be up by one at half — we’ll probably be down by 20,” he said. “We have to play our perfect game.” 

They will almost certainly not be perfect. They will almost certainly lose. And yet Omar Shiddo, the soft-spoken assassin, has a question for you.

“Why not shock the country,” he said, “and beat the No. 1 team?”

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U Sports

Carleton Ravens set records in 129-44, 85-point beat-down of York Lions

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Carleton Ravens set records in 129-44, 85-point beat-down of York Lions
Photo: Valerie Wutti/Blitzen Photography

The No. 1 ranked Carleton Ravens improved to 16-2 overall and 8-0 in Ontario University Athletics (OUA) conference action with a 129-44 — 85 point beat-down of the York Lions to set a modern-day U Sports men’s basketball record, for most points scored and the largest margin of victory in a OUA conference game.

The Ravens’ 129 points is the most points scored in a (OUA) game and the third highest scoring output in historic programs’ 58-year history. Carleton routed the Fleming Knights (CCAA/OCAA) 130-78 in non-conference win on October 3, 2009. The 85-point win is the second largest margin of victory in team’s history — including CIAU, CIS, OUA conference, non-conference and games against NCAA teams.

carleton ravens set u sports basketball records in 129 44 85 point beat down of york lions
Carleton Ravens set U Sports Basketball Records in 129 44 85 point beat down of York Lions

According to historic records, and stats guru Martin Timmerman, the Ravens’ also hold the bragging rights for the most points scored and largest margin of victory in Canadian university basketball history. The all-time mark dates back to the 1964-1965 season with the Ravens’ beating the Ottawa Gee-Gees 144-52 — a whooping 92 point victory in the old Ottawa-St. Lawrence Intercollegiate Association (IAA) conference which was part of the Canadian Interuniversity Athletics Union (CIAU).

The OUA was formed on July 1st of 1997 in a amalgamation of the both the Ontario Universities Athletic Association (OUAA) and the Ontario Women’s Interuniversity Athletic Association (OWIAA).

The previous largest OUA margin of victory stood firmly at 81, 77 points respectively, dating back to two occasions involving the same two teams. January 15, 2011 — the Ravens pounded the now defunct Royal Military College (RMC) men’s basketball program with a 121-40 win in Kingston, Ontario. Two weeks later, on January 28, in Ottawa, the Ravens’ won by a easy 77 points, in a 101-24 cake walk victory.

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The York Lions (7-15, 1-10 OUA) never had a chance — trailing 32-7 after the first 10 minutes and down 64-21 at half-time. The Lions allowed the Ravens’ to outscored them 35-15 in the third-quarter and were limited to just 9 points in the final 10 minutes — while giving-up an another 35-point-quarter.

Stanley Mayambo 17 points, 4 rebounds paced seven Ravens’ players in double-figures. Lloyd Pandi added 14 points, 2 rebounds. Aiden Warnholtz played a game-high 28 minutes off the bench and contributed with 13 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists. All of Carleton’s players scored at least five points and attempted at least five shots with only one bench player logging less then 10 minutes of playing time. None of the Carleton’s starting five logged more than 19 minutes of action.

Carleton knocked down 45-of-77 (58.4%) field-goals, made 15-of-32 (46.5%) three-pointers and connected on a healthy 24-30 (80%) from free-throws — while limiting the Lions to just 14-of-62 (22.6%), 4-of-20% (20%) from downtown and 12-of-23 (52%) free-throws.

Carleton, currently on a four-game home stretch will take on the Nipissing Lakers before closing out the first semester with a highly anticipated showdown against nationally ranked and cross-town rival Ottawa Gee-Gees.

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