Ottawa, On – (BasketballBuzz) – In his final game in a Ravens uniform, Tyson Hinz led the way with 30 points, six rebounds, five assists as Carleton beat the University of Ottawa Gee-Gees 79-67 to claim their fourth straight CIS National Championship – a record tenth championship for Coach Dave Smart in the past twelve years.
The Ravens were stunned by the Ottawa Gee-Gees at the buzzer in a wild Wilson Cup OUA final. Exactly one week later, the Ravens and Gee-Gees met again, this time on the floor of Ottawa’s Canadian Tire Centre, in an all Ottawa rematch for the national championship.
The Ravens had been the top ranked team in the country until last week’s loss. Regardless, there was little doubt that the top two teams in the CIS were taking the floor Sunday afternoon. Coming into Sunday’s final, Smart and the Ravens had “made some adjustments…and tried to change how [they] approached the defensive end and the defensive intensity in terms of staying intense for 40 minutes.”
The game plan was in full effect as neither team was able to find any offensive rhythm in a first quarter largely defined by the Ravens rebounding and defense. Thomas Scrubb led the charge for the Ravens in the first quarter with six points on 2-4 shooting. Unlike last week, the Gee-Gees were unable to establish their outside shooting going 5-14 from the field and 3-9 from to find them down 16-14 at the first buzzer.
Ottawa came out of the huddle for the second quarter prepared to push the pace and quickly opened up a four point lead on a 6-0 run punctuated by a Terry Thomas three-pointer with just under nine minutes remaining in the quarter. Tyson Hinz answered the call for the Ravens, dominating the Gee-Gees in the paint to the tune of 13 points and 3 rebounds in the second quarter. The Gee-Gees were able to keep themselves in the game behind 8 points and 3 rebounds from Thomas including a three late in the quarter which tied the game at 33 with under 1:30 left. Thomas Scrubb (7 points, 3-6 FG, 2-3 3Pt in the quarter) closed the half with a putback to put the Ravens up 37-35 at half-time.
The Gee-Gees tied the game quickly off a long two from Thomas. That would be as close as the Gee-Gees would get in the third as the Ravens found their rhythm on defense, smothering the Gee-Gees inside and forcing them to shoot from the perimeter. The Ravens also dominated on the glass, out-rebounding Ottawa 14-8 in the quarter. On offense, the Gee-Gees were unable to find an answer for Philip Scrubb or Hinz who continued to punish Ottawa inside and on the glass. The Ravens ended the quarter up by 9, their biggest lead of the game.
Carleton continued to control the pace and the glass in the fourth thanks to Hinz who continued to dominate under the basket with another 9 points in the final frame. The Gee-Gees made a run midway through the quarter to cut the lead to four, but were unable to overcome shooting 6-20 to close the game.
Despite keeping it close throughout the first half, the Gee-Gees simply didn’t have an answer for Hinz, the tournament MVP. Hinz described Carleton’s effort as “a more complete game. There was forty minutes of battling…but I think in terms of the other game we let up for too long.” The Ravens certainly didn’t, dominating the inside to a plus-15 rebound differential and outscoring the Gee-Gees by 12 in the paint. Officiating was an issue in a physical game with both teams feeling they weren’t getting calls. Said Ottawa coach James Derouin, “We didn’t get a break tonight. Whether that was a bounce, or a call, or a shot…There was definitely a stretch where it seemed like everything was going their way.”
The Ravens will lose Hinz in the offseason. The veteran big-man described winning his final game at home in Ottawa as “special” but attributed a lot of credit to his teammates. Also graduating this year is Kevin Churchill who relished the chance to exact some revenge on the Gee-Gees in the final game of his CIS career.
Asked about how this title differed from the last nine, Smart hesitated to read too much into his tenth championship, “I don’t know how it’s different. It’s been a long year…I’m so happy for them.”
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.