By Victor Ferreira
The Carleton Ravens Men’s basketball team has been undefeated in the regular season since Nov. 7, 2008, when they lost to the Windsor Lancers.
After an impressive 7-2 run in their last nine games, the Ryerson Rams hoped to finally end that streak.
In what was Co-captain Ryan McNeilly and Steve Williams’ last regular season game at Kerr Hall Gym, the Carleton Ravens (21-0) crushed the Ryerson Rams (10-11) with a convincing 100-62 win.
Williams could not hide his disappointment with the result.
“When you’re facing Carleton you’ve got to play a perfect game just to keep up. We didn’t,” said Williams.
In the last regular season home game of their OUA careers, McNeilly had seven points while Williams added a modest three points and three rebounds. Ola Adegboruwa led the Rams with 15 points while Jordan Gauthier came off the bench to add another 13.
The Ravens started the game on a 15-2 run, asserting their dominance over a Rams defence that could find no way to stop the Ravens’ initial flurry. They earned several second-chance points through the offensive rebounding of forward Tyson Hinz who had 14 of his 18 points and seven of his nine rebounds in the first half.
While strong on offense, the Ravens were even more dominant on defence, utilizing a full-court press which did not allow the Ryerson offense any room to breathe. The Ravens were able to stop Ryerson’s quick transitions into offense and force them into taking unnecessary jump shots.
Ryerson’s ineffective offense allowed the Ravens to take a 32 point lead at the half.
Rams’ Head coach Roy Rana credits the sloppy play to trying to keep up with the Ravens.
“We tried to match their intensity but they made us pay for it,” said Rana. “We got beat up on the glass and they did a great job at taking [the ball] out of the point guard’s [Jones] hands.”
At the end of the game, Carleton’s full-court press was so effective that it forced Jones to committing nine turnovers, nearly matching Carleton’s total of 13 by himself.
Jones, a Rookie of the Year candidate, faced off against another front-runner for the award in Carleton’s Phillip Scrubb. Jones finished the game with 15 points and six steals with Scrubb added 14 points for the Ravens.
Carleton, not having won a game by less than eight points and having scored more than 100 points, six times this season, were not satisfied with the result at the halftime.
In the second half, Carleton continued to extend their lead, eventually creating a 42 point deficit for Ryerson to attempt to come back from. The Rams could only manage to decrease the score line to a difference of 38 points, the amount which they would lose by.
Ravens’ head coach Dave Smart was pleased with his team’s performance.
“We’ve struggled the last five games but we came out and we answered the bell tonight,” said Smart.
Smart has high expectations of his team even though the Ravens have won their last five games by an average of 42.6 points.
Despite the tough loss, Rana is proud of his team.
“If you had asked me when we were 2-8 if we would be at 10-11 at the end of the season, I would have trouble believing you,“ said Rana.
After the loss, the Rams now sit fourth in the OUA standings, two points behind third place Ottawa. Ryerson will now focus on the season-ending game against the Toronto Varsity Blues.
“We’re definitely looking forward to it,” said McNeilly. “If we win and Ottawa lose, we have a good chance at third.”
Ryerson will take on the Toronto Varsity Blues on Friday at the Athletic Centre Sports Gym. Tip-off is scheduled for 8 p.m.