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No. 2 Carleton Ravens 79-66 knock-off rivals No. 1 Gee-Gees in front record CIS crowd

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Ottawa, ON – The Carleton Ravens and the Ottawa Gee-Gees have provided local Ottawa basketball fans with a long list of memorable and historic moments since their heated rivalry began in 1975. Over the course of the past 40 years local pundits have experienced the dominance of the Dave Smart Era, a National championship game between the two rival schools in their home city, but never has the Nations Capital or the Canada, for that matter experienced anything like what went down on a cold Saturday February night inside the Canadian Tire Centre (CTC).

With the home of the NHL’s Ottawa Senators packed all the way to the third-bowl and both school colors on full display the No. 2-ranked Carleton Ravens behind a decisive fourth-quarter knocked off the No. 1-ranked Ottawa Gee-Gees 79-66 in front of a record breaking CIS basketball crowd of 10 780 passionate fans in the ninth edition of the Annual Capital Hoops Classic.

Fourth-year Ravens forward Thomas Scrubb dominated from tip-off, racked-up his sixth double-double of the season with 29 points, 12 rebounds and 4 assists in a rematch of last year’s CIS Men’s Final 8 Championship game at CTC which drew over 7000 fans.

The Gee-Gees had no answer for the Victoria, BC native specially in the second and fourth quarters, scoring 11 and 10 points respectively in a pressure cooker game which had the feeling of yet another National title game. “We just wanted to more aggressive this time, we thought last game we were tentative and didn’t really attacked them, we know we have good match-ups on offense we just wanted to go at those match-ups and we had success doing that tonight.” discussed Thomas Scrubb during his post game interview with BasketballBuzz.

Gee-Gees all-time leading scorer Johnny Berhanemeskel put on a show in his last Capital Hoops Classic with a game-high 28 points on 10-of-17 shooting. Berhanemeskel toasted the Ravens in the opening quarter and electrified the record CIS crowd in the third-quarter as the Gee-Gees took their first lead of the game at 54-51 on a sweet three-point play.

As usual in a game of this magnitude, officiating and how the referees call it early usually dictates the flow and the pace of the game, and on this special night it was no different!

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Gee-Gees head coach James Derouin to a long pause before giving us his opinion on how the game was called, “Long pause…I thought some big calls in that first-half, overall I thought it was fairly even, But I thought the big calls were Caleb’s second in the first-half, in the first 30 seconds of the game that really throws off our game plan obviously hes a major part of what we do.”

Carleton Ravens head coach Dave Smart, who was in much better mood after his team’s victory also expressed his feelings towards the officiating, “well I think I did an absolutely horrible job in the first game letting stuff slide, we got called for some soft ones, they got called for some soft ones but generally the travels were called and the guys that were in foul trouble fouled! I know James (Derouin) isn’t happy but Caleb fouled, and our guys also fouled.

Three-time CIS MVP Philip Scrubb shot the ball poorly once again on the big floor, going 0-8 from deep but finishing with 13 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists and one turnover in his last 39 minutes of Capital Hoops action.

“For us being up one after three quarters against them in the state we’re in physical it was a win, if someone had told me that you are going to fourth quarter with a one point lead, they got Mike (L’African) back and we don’t have four guys, one starter, and they are better than us when we’re both healthy, were taking it.” added Smart.

Gee-Gees starting PG Mike L’African return to action for the first time since the Gee-Gees knocked off the Ravens in their thrilling 78-76 win and was rock solid with 11 points, 7 rebounds but failed to record an assist as Ottawa struggled with ball movement recording only 9 assists compared to Carleton’s 16.

The Ravens (23-4, 13-2 OUA) still trails the Gee-Gees (27-4, 14-1 OUA) by a game for the top spot in the conference and the right the host the 2015 Wilson Cup.

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Highly touted Alabama Crimson Tide Return To Canada

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Alabama Crimson Tide Avery Johnson Return To Canada

The Alabama Crimson Tide led by former NBA Head Coach Avery Johnson, a 16-year veteran and NBA champion point-guard during his playing days will bring his highly touted Alabama Crimson Tide to Canada for series of games against Canada’s top university basketball programs.

The Crimson Tide will visit both Montreal and Ottawa for a three-game exhibition schedule against McGill Redmen (Mon Aug 7), Carleton Ravens (Wed Aug 9) and the Ottawa Gee-Gees (Thu Aug 10).

The Tide competed hard last year and took a step in the right direction with a 19-15 record, 10-8 SEC record and have NCAA March Madness tournament aspirations thanks to solid recruiting class which ranks amongst the nations best.

Led by a talented crop of returning guards, Dazon Ingram (10.6 PPG, 4.5 RPG), Riley Norris (9 PPG, 3 RPG), the coaches son Avery Johnson Jr. and forwards Braxton Key the Tide will be a handful for the it’s Canadian opposition.

Key a 6’8″, 220 lbs flirted with the  2017 NBA draft after a stellar freshman season, the Charlotte, NC native led ‘Bama in scoring with 12 point per game and was second in rebounding at 5.7 per game. The Tide will also welcome incoming red-shirt sophomore 6’10”, 240lbs Daniel Giddens to a line-up that returns four starters.

Alabama anchored by current NBA player Alonzo Gee (Denver Nuggets) last visited Canada back in 2007 and finished with a record of 4-1 against the same exact teams, dropping a tight 83-72 decision against the Carleton Ravens who have won seven straight Canadian titles including 13-of the-last-15 championships.

Carleton’s signature win over Alabama was only their second ever against a NCAA division one team after 16-game losing streak from 1999 to 2006. The Ravens current record against NCAA teams in Canada stands at an impressive 26-23 (.531%) record.

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Calgary Dinos Thomas Cooper Senior Highlights

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Calgary Dinos Thomas Cooper Senior Highlights

Calgary Dinos senior guard Thomas Cooper had himself and impressive CIS/Usports career to say the least. The Chattanooga, Tenn. native, a 6-5, 200 lbs guard earned himself two first team All-Canadian awards while leading Dinos back to the championship game for the first time since 1966.

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No. 1 Carleton Ravens 81-40 lock-up rivals No. 2 Ottawa Gee-Gees

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Eddie Ekiyor Carleton Ravens Vs.Ottawa Gee Gees USports Basketball
Photo - Valerie Wutti

Ottawa, ON – The twelve-time defending CIS/USports National Basketball Champions and No.1 Carleton Ravens went into Monpetit Hall and completely dominated the No. 2 ranked Ottawa Gee-Gees, locking up their Bytown rivals with a blistering 81-40 win.

The Ravens, the top defensive unit in the country, allowing an incredible low of only 60 points to opponents, dominated every aspect of the much anticipated game holding Ottawa to four points in the first-quarter and thirteen in the second for a grand total of seventeen first-half points and 35-17 half-time lead.

The first-quarter ended with Ravens leading 11-4 as both teams slugged it out in front of a jam packed standing room only Monpetit Hall which hasn’t seen the Gee-Gees get dismantled like this on their home floor in 32-game OUA conference games – snapping home winning streak which dated back to 2012.

Fifth-year senior Guard Connor Wood caught fire in the second-quarter after a cold start scoring all but 14 of the teams 24 points in the quarter and finished with 16 in the half and game-high 19 points. Starting point guard Kaza Kajami-Keane added 10 points, six rebounds in just 19 minutes.

The Gee-Gees were limited to 6-of-32 (18.8%) shooting, 3-of-17 from the outside in the opening 20 minutes and managed to only connect on 12-56 (21.4%) of their field goal attempts for the entire game and only 6-of-26 from the outside.

Carleton shot 50% in the second-half and finished 31-68 from the floor and 13-of-28 from downtown while turning the ball over 9 times compared to the Gee-Gees 18.

Must Read:  Philip Scrubb dominates as Carleton Ravens defeat NCAA's Memphis Tigers in 86-76

The 40 points allowed by the Ravens is their lowest against the Gee-Gees since a 74-34 smack-down in January 18th, 2012 at the Sixth Annual Capital Hoops Classic.

Carleton Ravens 6’10” freshman Eddie Ekiyor (Ottawa, ON) and senior forward Ryan Ejim (Toronto, ON) finished one point shy of double-doubles with 9 points and 8 rebounds respectively, and shutdown the Gee-Gees dynamic duo of Caleb Agada (12 points, 4 rebounds) and former Ravens Jean Emmanuel Pierre (7 points, 6 rebounds). Gee-Gees Guard Brandon Robinson had a team-high 15 points on 4-of-8 shooting, 3-of-4 triples.

Carleton’s record  stays unblemished at a perfect 10-0, 16-0 against Canadian competition and 22-2 overall with the only losses coming from two NCAA opponents on the road in Rhode Island – Providence Friars 87-69 and in Philadelphia against LaSalle Explorers 79-73.

Both teams will meet again in just over two weeks (Feb 3rd) at the 2017 Capital Hoops Classic at the ScotiaBank Centre.

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