RAVENS STAY UNDEFEATED WITH IMPRESSIVE PERFROMANCE
Tyson Hinz (Carleton): 18 points, 9 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 blocks
Ola Adegboruwa (Ryerson): 15 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal
TORONTO, ON – Other than the opening tip-off, the visiting Carleton Ravens didn’t lose many battles in their 100-62 victory over the Ryerson Rams.
Earlier this month, Laval Rouge et Or head coach had told NPH that the Ravens are the best team in Canada and that win just might have convinced the remaining skeptics.
“They’re just better than us right now,” said Ryerson head coach Roy Rana. “Credit to them, they’re just a very, very good team.”
Despite the fact that Ryerson entered the game having won 8 of their previous 10 games, Carleton took the upper hand early and never let go. The Ravens opened on a 15-2 run, forcing the Rams to play from behind all game long.
“They don’t make a lot of mistakes. You almost have to play a perfect game just to stay with them,” said Rana.
Ryerson did not. The Rams shot the ball poorly (42% from the field, 56% from the free throw line) and were outrebounded by more than a 2-to-1 margin (41 for Carleton, 19 for Ryerson). In fact, the Ravens collected 15 offensive rebounds, almost as many as the Rams’ total rebounds.
“All we worry about is the process of executing and getting better,” said fourth-year Carleton player Willy Manigat. “We could have played a lot better (even if) we did win by a fair amount. We felt that there are still things that we can work on.”
Perhaps the lone statistic where Ryerson compared favourably with Carleton is the amount of turnovers, 12 to 13. This is a little bit misleading, however, as almost all of the Ravens’ turnovers came from 12 Rams steals. This shows good awareness and quickness on defense.
Carleton only had 5 steals, meaning that 7 of Ryerson’s turnovers came from carelessness on offense. That is not so good.
“This Carleton team is just a machine and you can see why they have been so successful,” said Rana.
Indeed. The Ravens might be undefeated, but the team never lets up. 12 players will play on any given night and they never ease up. They never stop talking on the defensive side. They never stop pushing the ball on the fast break. The bench players never stop cheering for the players on the floor. You get the idea.
“It takes a lot to win because everybody wants to win,” explained Manigat. “This is a testament to our coaching staff and their recruiting.”
After the first quarter, Carleton led 33-21 behind strong offensive play.
“I think we were good at stretches,” said fifth-year senior Michael Kenny. “We kind of let up a little at stretches, especially in the second quarter where we hit a little bit of a lull.”
Mind you, the Ravens still outscored the Rams by 10 points in that quarter.
“They don’t stop and find the open man on every possession,” said Rana. “We tried to match up their intensity and the way we did (that) was by playing a little out of control. And they punish you for those mistakes.”
The lead would slowly grow bigger and bigger in the second half, from 22 at halftime to 27 after the third quarter and finally, 38 at the end of the game.
“We know we can (play) 10 or 11 players every game,” said Kenny. “That allows us to always go 110% all the time.”
12 Carleton players actually logged at least 6 minutes of playing time and scored at least 4 points. Offensively, second-year forward Tyson Hinz recorded a game-high 18 points, but four other Ravens scored in double-figures. Such balance is hard to compete with for any team.
In contrast, three Rams scored in double-figures, Ola Adegboruwa (15) and rookies Jahmal Jones (15) and Jordon Gauthier (13). The rest of the team managed 19 points.
With one week left in the regular season, the playoffs teams are already set in the East division. We know that Carleton and the Toronto Varsity Blues will be the first two seeds and the Laurentian Voyageurs, the sixth seed. Ryerson, the Ottawa Gee-Gees and the York Lions will finish third to fifth in some order depending on the outcome of next week’s games.
“We got to worry about Toronto,” said Rana. “We don’t control (the rest), we can only win ourselves.”
That win moves the best team in the country, Carleton, that much closer to finishing the season with an unblemished record of 22-0. Only a remaining away game against the rival Ottawa Gee-Gees on Feb. 18 stands in their way.
“It’s Carleton and Ottawa (and) it’s always a war,” said Manigat.
The way the Ravens have handled themselves in their previous battles, they just might win that war as well.
“We try to take it one game at a time and win every game,” said Kenny. “So ideally, (in that sense) at the end of the year you’re undefeated.”
Follow Charles Blouin-Gascon on Twitter @CeeeBG