Earl Pettis scored 16 of his team-high 18-points in the second-half to lead the La Salle Explorers to a 66-64 victory over the defending champions Carleton Ravens.
Playing in their first official game since winning their seventh CIS men’s basketball title in nine years, the Ravens executed well in the first-half before going cold in the second-half as La Salle increased the defensive pressure.
Willy Manigat missed-fired on a well-executed three-point play at the buzzer as the Ravens let one slip against a La Salle team that went 2-1 in their 2011 Canadian tour.
Playing without last year’s player-of-the year Tyson Hinz and defensive stopper Cole Hobin, the Ravens executed their game plan to a T in the first-half and took a commanding 19-7 in the first ten minutes of the ball game. La Salle fought back to close the gap to 37-33 by half-time.
Carleton shot 48.3% on 14-29 shooting, including 6-for-11 from downtown in the opening 20 minutes. La Salle was poor from the three-point line, shooting only 21.4% on 3-for-14.
The Explorers found their shooting stroke after the break and took their first lead at 51-50 with 10 minutes to play and never looked back, outscoring the Ravens 33-27 to win a tightly contest game.
The Ravens were held to just 27.3% (6-of-22) shooting in the second-half. While La Salle connected on 60.9% (14-13).
“Holding Carleton to 27% percent shooting in the second half was a perfect ending for a summer tour in which our focus was team defence,” head coach Dr. John Giannini said. “We got experience in two intense games that came down to the last possession.”
Last year’s rookie-of-the-year Philip Scrubb was the game’s leading scorer with 19 points, five assists and four rebounds.
Senior guard Will Manigat was held scoreless in the final 20 minutes and finished with 11 points and three rebounds.
Thomas Scrubb was also active with 10 points and a team-high six rebounds, including a late baseline three to rally his club.
La Salle was paced by Earl Pettis with 18 points and three rebounds. Sam Mills was equally impressive with 17 points and four rebounds. Jerrell Wright helped the Explorers win the rebounding battle with 8 of his team’s 32 rebounds.
The Ravens will play Illinois State University Redbirds tomorrow as they continue to prepare for the upcoming 2011-12 OUA/CIS regular season.