The Scrubb brothers both poured in 31 points to help the #1 Carleton Ravens squeeze past their rivals Ottawa Gee-Gees 111-107 in a classic triple overtime OUA regular season finale.
Thomas Scrubb finished with 31 points and a game-high 18 rebounds while brother Phillip Scrubb added seven assists and four steals.
The Gee-Gees got 27 points, 13 rebounds and 7 assists from their captain Warren Ward and Johnny Berhanemeskel finished with 22 and seven rebounds.
Ottawa jumped out to an early lead, 21-13 after the first quarter and went into the break feeling positive with a 42-37 lead at break, largely thanks to seven three-pointers in the first 20 minutes.
Carleton hoping to keep their 18-game winning streak alive slowly but methodically took the lead at 46-43 in the third quarter – behind back-to-back three’s by the Scrubb brothers but still trailed 57-54 as both teams entered the final 10 minutes.
The Ravens seemed to have the game wrapped up as they led 77-71 with 32 seconds left, but Ottawa never game up as Johnny Berhanemeskel buried a timely three to cut the deficit to 77-74
The next possession Gee-Gees guard Tihani Mehdi picked Phil Scrubb’s pocket who was called for a clear path foul sending the Gee-Gees to the line for two shots and possession of the ball.
Mehdi connected on 1-of-2 free-throws to cut it to 77-75 and then found himself wide open on the offensive glass to stick back a Warren Ward miss and send the game into the 1st overtime.
The action continued in the first of extra five minutes as both showed no signs of slowing down. Ottawa missed the first golden opportunity to end the game when Gab Dubue-Gonhier missed fired on two fouls shots moments after Berhaneskel swung the momentum in the Gee-Gees favor with a huge three to put Ottawa up 86-85 with 28 seconds.
The Ravens got the ball in the hands of Phill Scrubb who tied the game but uncharacteristically failed to seal the deal with a missed second free-throw.
Warren Ward who shot 2-of-17 in the Gee-Gees 68-53 loss to Carleton in late January refused to let his career end without a victory over the Ravens by drilling five points in the second overtime.
Ottawa held the Ravens scoreless for the last 3:12 minutes and got a late Michael L’African to force a third overtime.
Carleton scored the first five points in the third and final overtime including eight from Thomas Scrubb to preserve their 19-game winning streak, the longest in the nation and yet another OUA East Title.
The two teams finished the regular season as the two top teams in the OUA East (Car;eton 19-1, Gee-Gees 15-5) and as a result will host playoff games in the comfort of their own homes.
Dave Smart steps down as Carleton men’s head coach after 14 national titles
It’s the end of an era at Carleton.
The school has announced that Dave Smart, who built a dynasty that dominated Canadian university sport for nearly 20 years, has stepped down.
Smart has accepted a new role as the university’s director of basketball operations, Carleton said in a news release.
He will be responsible for “developing the men’s and women’s basketball programs and continuing to build a culture of sport excellence,” the release said.
“Smart will provide operational support, mentorship and technical leadership to the coaching staff of both programs, and he will work with the Department of University Advancement in fundraising and community development.
“He’ll also provide mentorship to other U Sports coaches in Carleton Athletics.”
Taffe Charles, who coached Carleton’s women’s program for 12 years and won a national title in 2017-18 will succeed Smart as men’s team head coach.
“It’s been a great run,’’ said Smart in a statement.
“Coaching is my second love, my first being my wife and children. I am very thankful to the university and I am looking forward to my new role.
“This gives me an opportunity to stay involved in basketball while having more time to spend with my family.”
Smart’s 19-year tenure at Carleton was one of remarkable dominance, with 14 national championships.
He also won a record number of coaching awards and has been active as a coach with Canada Basketball.
“Dave’s success on the court has given Carleton great national visibility and we are sincerely grateful,” said Benoit-Antoine Bacon, president of Carleton University.
“I wish Dave all the best in his new role where he will share his ‘playbook’ with all our Ravens programs.”
Charles played on Carleton’s men’s team from 1990 to 1995 and began his coaching career as an assistant in 1995; he then served as an assistant with the men’s program from 1998 to 2007.
Since returning to the women’s program in 2007, Carleton won four U Sports Final 8 berths, four OUA East titles, and two OUA championships.
Carleton’s women’s national championship in 2018 was the first in school history.
“I am truly honoured to be entrusted as the next head coach of the Carleton University men’s basketball program,’’ said Charles in a statement.
“I look forward to the challenge of continuing the high standard of excellence that has been set by Coach Smart, his coaching staff and the players.’’
Carleton said it has launched a national search for a head coach of its women’s program.
Kadre Gray wins second consecutive U Sports MVP
Laurentian guard Kadre Gray took his game to another level this season.
That’s saying something.
A year ago, Gray was the top Canadian university male athlete in any sport, the first Laurentian student to win the honour.
He led the country in assists, narrowly missed a scoring title, and — perhaps by default — also won the Mike Moser Memorial Trophy as men’s basketball player of the year.
“Kadre’s work ethic continues to shine bright,” said Laurentian head coach Shawn Swords in a statement.
“He is always looking for ways to improve and refine all aspects of the game.”
If there was any doubt, Gray stifled it in his junior season.
He averaged 31 points, 7.4 rebounds and 6.2 assists per game en route to his second consecutive Moser trophy.
“It’s an amazing accomplishment to do it once,” said Swords.
“And now, to be named MVP twice, is truly a testament to his willingness to learn and improve.
“The Kadre effect has spread throughout our community as well. It is great to see him support our local youth and realize the positive impact he has on everyone.”
Gray received the 2019 Moser trophy Thursday at a gala in Halifax, N.S., ahead of the U Sports Men’s Final 8 tournament.
University of Calgary guard Mambi Diawara, Concordia guard Ricardo Monge and St. Mary’s University guard Kemar Alleyne were also finalists for the award.
Gray was simply a cut above. He posted gaudy stats with notable efficiency, shooting 48.8 per cent from the floor.
He was also a First Team All-Canadian and played with Canada’s national team in FIBA World Cup 2019 Americas Qualifiers against Venezuela and Brazil.
Gray was the only U Sports player to participate in the qualifiers.
Other award winners:
Rookie of the Year (Dr. Peter Mullins Trophy): Alix Lochard, UQAM.
Ken Shields Award for Student-Athlete Community Service: Tanner Graham, Queen’s.
Defensive Player of the Year: Marcus Anderson, Carleton.
Stuart W. Aberdeen Memorial Trophy (Coach of the Year): Dan Vanhooren, Calgary.