Vancouver, BC – Coming into the 2016 CIS Men’s Final 8 there was a great debate over just how the Ottawa Gee-Gees, a wild card team managed to be awarded a No. 3 seed over other conference champions. Notably, one of those teams who felt they deserved a higher seed was the Atlantic University Conference (AUS) champions Dalhousie Tigers who earned their way to back-to-back Final 8 appearances by becoming the first team since 2002 to repeat as AUS conference champions.
Luckily for the No. 6 Dalhousie Tigers, the luck of the draw saw them paired in a Quarter-Finals tilt against a Gee-Gees team that came in limping into the National tournament, setting the stage for a potential upset and their very first quarter-finals win in 7 appearances dating back to 1983.
Much like their AUS championship run, the Dalhousie fell behind early in the first-quarter 17-10, trailed for most of the game and methodically climbed their way back using game changing runs. And when adversity starred them in the eye trailing the Gee-Gees 70-62 with a quarter to play, Dalhousie turned to their conference all-star point guard Rich Kaza Mata who scored 10 of his game-high 24 points to propel his team to the CIS Final 8 their first Semi-Final with gutsy 87-83 win over the Gee-Gees.
Kaza Mata took-over down the stretch scoring eight straight points in the late stages and finished 8-of-12 from the floor including 7-of-8 from the charity line.
Kashrell Lawrence added 14 points, six rebounds and four steals for the AUS champs who forced Ottawa into a season high 24 turnovers, converting them into 31 points. Dalhousie pounded the ball inside for a 50-36 points in the paint advantage and went to the line 24 times compared to 10 attempts by the trigger happy Gee-Gees.
We shot the lights out in the first half and I think that gave us a little bit of a false sense of success despite the fact that our defense was not great. The defense continued to struggle, especially on containment,” opened-up Gee-Gees head coach James Derouin.
“Their pressure defense gave us all kinds of fits. We knew that was coming. We prepared for it, we worked for it. But credit to them, especially Ritchie. He put his shoulder down and jumped into the defense. As aggressive as they played defensively, we shot ten free throws. That’s a sign to me that we weren’t low and we weren’t trying to counter their aggression with aggression. We didn’t handle it like the veteran group that we have and like we should have.”
The stage is now set for the Dalhousie Tigers (27-8) to face No. 2 ranked, eleven-time and six-time defending CIS champions Carleton Ravens, in what should be another high octane, pressure game which the Tigers have shown capable of winning under the tutelage of third-year head coach Rick Plato.
A closer look at the Tigers past three wins reveals a combined 7 points difference, earning wins over St. Marys 75-74 (AUS Semifinal), 87-85 over UPEI (AUS championship) and a slim 87-83 win over a Gee-Gees that was ranked in the top spot for over five weeks.
Carleton Ravens set records in 129-44, 85-point beat-down of York Lions
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.
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.
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.
Kadre Gray career-high 51 points keep Laurentian Voyageurs unbeaten
Kadre Gray scored a career-high 51 points as the Laurentian Voyageurs (4-0) stayed unbeaten with 107-77 win over the Algoma Thunderbirds. The reigning two-time U Sports Most Valuable Player (MVP) torched Algoma — shooting 17-for-24 (70.8%) from the floor and burying 9-of-15 (60%) triples including 8-of-12 (66%) from the foul line — adding 9 assists and 2 steals in 32 minutes.
Gray scored 14 points in the opening quarter and added 11 more in the second-quarter to finish the half with 25 points as Laurentian trailed the Thunderbirds 51-46. The former Rookie of the Year (2016-17) added to his count with 10 more in the middle frame helping Laurentian rally to take a 74-69 lead.
The Toronto, Ontario native doubled-up the Thunderbirds in the fourth quarter — scoring 16 points in 10 minutes as Laurentian outscored Algoma 33-8 to run away with the game.
Gray has been on a tear to start the 2019-2020 U Sports men’s basketball season pouring 40 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists in a win over the Bishop Gaiters just four days ago. The two-time first-team All-Canadian also racked-up 25 points against the Western Mustangs and 19 points in the preseason opener over the Waterloo Warriors.
Gray is currently averaging 33.7 points per game, slightly higher than the league-leading 31 points per game a year ago. Gray’s previous career-high was a 48-point game in 101-81 win over the Lakehead Thunderwolves on November 3rd 2018.
Kadre Gray on pace to become U Sports All-Time Scorer
With two years of eligibility remaining and currently sitting at 1549 career points the Laurentian guard is on pace to surpass UNB Reds standout Javon Masters to become the all-time greatest scorer in U Sports basketball men’s history.
Masters had 1608 entering his junior year and scored 799 in his final two campaigns to finish with 2407 career points — surpassing Ryerson’s Boris Bakovic’s 2319 total points. Kadre Gray scored 620 points in 20 regular season games last year alone and should he come anywhere near that pace this year and opt to return for a final fifth-year he could shatter the mark.
The four-year stand-out guard is coming off a stellar season and opted to declare for the 2019 NBA Draft and will once again look to make his mark on Canadian University basketball.
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