By Daniel Morand
The University of Windsor Lancers put up a valiant effort against the two-time defending Wilson Cup champions, but came up short in a 84-71 loss to the Carleton University Ravens in the OUA semifinal game at the Mattamy Athletic Centre.
Some might have argued that a game against the Ravens — a nine-time national champion team — was over before it even started. But, the Lancers were only down 16 points at halftime.
Neither team was playing with energy or consistency in the opening quarter. But the Ravens responded with an all-out assault led by Philip Scrubb. Regarded by some as the best player in the nation, Scrubb scored a game-high 24 points and nine rebounds. His brother Thomas Scrubb chipped in with 17 points and eight rebounds.
“Every team is going to try to do different things to us, we just have to compete everyday,” Scrubb said. “Take every challenge as an opportunity to get better.”
The Lancers played solid defence, but the Ravens award-winning talent in nearly every position proved too much to handle. All-star Tyson Hinz snagged four rebounds and contributed ten points.
In the second half, the Lancers ramped up pressure and dropped two quick three-point shots that brought them within nine points. Carelton was unable to pull away and allowed Windsor to stay within 10 points for most of the second half.
“I don’t know if it’s a focus thing or a mental block, but we’ve been struggling defensively for a while,” Carleton head coach Dave Smart said.
The Lancers took risks in the fourth quarter by allowing point guard Enrico Diloreto to run the floor and attack the basket. His NBA style run-and-gun attitude was not enough to topple the Ravens, but his efforts led the Lancers in scoring with 17 points.
“In the second half I said. ‘Guys lets just play fast,’” Windsor head coach Chris Oliver said. “Our guys need to play with freedom to be successful and I think they did a much better job doing that in the second half.”
Carleton made 26 defensive rebounds to Windsor’s 24.
“If I had the answers we wouldn’t be struggling defensively like we are,” said Carleton head coach Smart. “Compared to teams we’ve played in the past, we’re really struggling with it.”
The Ravens take on the University of Ottawa Gee-Gee’s for the Wilson Cup title. But both teams will advance to the CIS Top 8 regardless of who wins.