Toronto, Ont. – (BasketballBuzz) – Junior guard Johnny Berhanemeskel drilled a mid-range jumper with .7 seconds left on the clock to give the No. 2 ranked Ottawa Gee-Gees an improbable 78-77 victory over No. 1 ranked Carleton Ravens to win the 2014 OUA Championship and help snap a 20-game losing streak that dates back to Feb 17, 2007, against their cross-town rivals.
With the Ravens leading 77-76 after a crucial made basket by Tyson Hinz with 6.7 seconds remaining, Ottawa Gee-Gees head coach James Derouin called a timeout to calm his troops and draw-up a play, his last words before his team left the huddle, – “Johnny, I wanted you to dribble here with your left and find the pull-up to win the game.” calmly, but sternly reenforcing confidence into his team who so often have come up short against Carleton.
Not only did he his team execute the play to perfection, his star player delivered, doing exactly what his head coached had asked of him.
Berhanemeskel finished with a game-high 30 points and added four rebounds and four assists to give the Gee-Gees their first OUA Championship since 1993-1994 and his first ever career win against the Carleton Ravens. Terry Thomas opened-up the game with a three-pointer and finished with 17 points and 9 rebounds while Gabriel Dube-Gonther also reached double-figures with 12 points and five rebounds.
The Gee-Gees started off strong and controlled the opening quarter grabbing their largest lead (7) of the game at 24-17 before Carleton closed out the quarter with a three-point basket by Victor Raso to trim the lead to 24-22 after the opening ten minutes. The two familiar foes traded baskets in the second quarter but it was the Ravens who took a slim 40-35 lead into the locker room thanks to a Clinton Springer-Williams bucket as the horn sounded.
Carleton behind senior forward Tyson Hinz opened up the third quarter on 5-0 and to extend the Ravens lead to a game-high 10 points as the Gee-Gees trailed 45-35. Ottawa responded with their own 11-1 run to tie the game 46-46 with 5:42 left in the period as Bernasmeskel and Terry Thomas found their stroke but Carleton found a way to go into the fourth-quarter leading 62-56.
Three-time OUA player-of-the-year Philip Scrubb struggled for most of the night but nailed a deep three-pointer with 3:39 to put Carleton ahead by double-digits at 75-65 left in the game and it seems like that Gee-Gees were head to their 21 straight loss at the hands of the Dave Smart and Ravens.
Instead of hanging their heads the Gee-Gees responded with their own 11-1 run ( seven by Berhanemeskel) to take a 76-75 lead with just 22 seconds left on the clock.
Carleton Ravens’ Tyson Hinz powered the Ravens all-night and finished with a 25-point, 10-rebound double in his last Wilson Cup, Thomas Scrubb added 21 points and four rebounds and his brother Phillip Scrubb managed 13 points despite only shooting 3-of-12 for the game. Lost ends Carleton’s 55-game winning streak against Canadian teams, their previous loss to CIS teams came against the Windsor Lancers on November 9th, 2012.
Ottawa shot 44% (31-70) while Carleton knocked down 42% (25-59) of their shots. The Ravens owned the glass with a 36-25 advantage but committed uncharacteristic 14 turnovers compared to the Gee-Gees 9.
Both teams will advance to the 2014 CIS Final 8 National championship in Ottawa, where the Gee-Gees are guaranteed one of the two top seeds after becoming the only Canadian team to knock off the defending champions so far this season. The Gee-Gees improve their overall record to 36-4 with their only losses coming at the hands of Syracuse, Wisconsin and the Carleton (2x). The Ravens record drops to 34-3 with losses coming to Syracuse, Cincinnati and now their rivals Ottawa.
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.
Carleton Ravens reclaim OUA Basketball Supremacy
The road to Ontario University Basketball supremacy has been firmly cemented through the Carleton University Ravens.
The Canadian basketball powerhouse has continuously dominated the toughest conference in the country year-in, year out, earning eleven (11) conference titles in Dave Smart’s 19 seasons as head coach.
Recently, the Ryerson Rams have threaten to end the Ravens dominance, earning the first non Carleton Ravens’ back-to-back (2016, 2017) conference titles since Joe Raso and the McMaster Marauders pulled it off in 1996 and 1997. Furthermore, despite the Ravens dominance of the Rams, they have managed to beat Carleton and win meaningfully games in March.
Ryerson, playing in their fourth straight Ontario University Association (OUA) conference championship game — a feat that not even the Ravens have accomplished, were looking for their third conference title in four years, having cut down the mesh at the Ravens’ Nest to win their second straight conference banner two years ago.
Add to the fact that Ryerson ended the Ravens hopes of a perfect season, pulling off a 78-74 road win less than five weeks ago and we once again had the ingredients for another great game.
“Coming into game we put a lot of focus in practice on limiting their key players and making it tough for them.” discussed Ravens’ point guard Yasiin Joseph after the Ravens executed their game-plan to perfection, beating the Ryerson Rams 81-61 to reclaiming Wilson Cup supremacy with their second straight conference title.
Carleton ripped off 12-0 run and held the Rams scoreless for over four minutes to grab 25-18 lead after one quarter. Ravens starting back-court of Yasiin Joseph (20 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists) and Munis Tutu (16 points, 6 assists, 2 rebounds) both played outstanding, controlling the offense and were great on the boards.
“Ryerson is a tough team and you have to be prepared. We made some adjustments from the previous game that helped us come on top.” Also commented Tutu, a Windsor, Ontario native who is looking for his first national title with the Ravens after falling short to the Rams in the national semi-final game.
Now three games away from potentially tasting national glory, Tutu understands the importance of staying focused and trusting the plan. “It’s going to be difficult, we are going to put in a tough week of practice, and prepare for our next opponent and try to bring the championship back to Ottawa.”
Eddie Ekiyor continued his All-Canadian campaign with 16 points and 6 rebounds in 22 minutes. TJ Lall returned from his one game suspension and almost had a perfect game with 10 points, 7 rebounds on 5-of-6 shooting.
Both teams shot poorly from the three-point line going a combined 8-of-49 (16%). Carleton limited the Rams offense to just seven assists and had fairly comfortable +17 (43-26) advantage on the glass.
6’11” Tanor Ngom continued to showcase his upside leading Ryerson in scoring with 15 points and four rebounds including a few exciting dunks for the standing room only, capacity crowd. JV Mukama was largely held in check and finished with 12 points and 8 rebounds including 0-7 from three-point shooting. Myles Charvis started off hot, but cooled down considerably, scoring 8 of his 10 points in the first quarter in 34 minutes.
Carleton won their first OUA conference basketball title of the Dave Smart era in his fourth year and they went on to three-peat on two occasions, from 2003-2005 and again from 2008-2010. They also took home top honors in 2011, 2013, 2015, 2018 and now once again 2019.
The only years the Ravens have failed to win the national title as conference champions were in 2008 when they lost to the Acadia Axemen, 2010 against Saskatchewan and recently against Ryerson in 2018.
The Ravens are now the odds on favorites to earn the top seed at next weeks Final 8 National Championships in Halifax, Nova Scotia — a place where they have won 8 of their record 13 national titles.