Photo: Jenelle Seelal

Carleton Ravens win 5th straight men’s basketball national title

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By Daniel Rocchi

If the W.P. McGee Trophy is tired of seeing the Carleton Ravens, the feeling isn’t mutual.

Philip Scrubb had a game-high 28 points to help the Ravens rout the Ottawa Gee-Gees 93-46 in the championship game of the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) Final 8 tournament on Sunday afternoon at the Mattamy Athletic Centre, giving Carleton its fifth straight national title.

Ottawa swingman Moe Ismail had a team-high 10 points in less than 19 minutes of playing time for the Gee-Gees, who failed to avenge last year’s 79-67 championship loss at the Final 8 tournament in Ottawa.

“We had a plan, and we had a plan the last time we played them,” said Ravens head coach Dave Smart. “We’ve defended them reasonably well all year, but we’ve struggled to score on them [in the past] and tonight Phil was just out-of-this-world.”

Though each team was returning to the championship game for the second time in as many years, neither looked comfortable early, as both teams struggled to make their first few field goals drop. The Ravens, who entered the tournament as the top-ranked team in the country, eventually righted the ship, finishing the quarter shooting 6-for-14 from the field.

But the Gee-Gees couldn’t get anything to fall, and a dismal 4-for-17 shooting percentage, including 0-7 from beyond the three-point-line, left Ottawa facing a 15-10 deficit after the first quarter.

The Ravens took command early in the second, with Thomas Scrubb spinning off a pair of Ottawa defenders down low to feed a wide-open J.E Pierre-Charles, who finished the play with an easy lay-up from inside the key to start the scoring.

That sparked a 10-0 Carleton quarter-opening run before Ottawa guard Caleb Agada gave his team their first points of the quarter on a pair of free-throws. The Gee-Gees managed to stem the tide, scoring 11 of the next 24 points, but the tournament’s number-three seed went to the locker room trailing 38-23 at the half.

If the Gee-Gees thought things would improve in the second half, they couldn’t have been more wrong.

Ravens guard Connor Wood scored eight straight points as the Ravens picked up where they left off. Wood’s 11 points in the quarter were more than any Ottawa player had all game, while the Gee-Gees continued their trend of woeful shooting, making 4-of-15 third-quarter field-goals, including 2-of-8 three-pointers.

Ottawa head coach James DeRouin earned an ejection from the game on his second technical foul of the night just before the end of the quarter, leaving assistants Clarence Porter, Kris Dale and Justin Serresse to run the Gee-Gees’ bench.

The shake-up made no difference.

The Scrubb brothers combined for 10 more points in the final game of their university careers before being subbed out to a standing ovation, as the Ravens outscored the Gee-Gees 23-8 in the final frame to win their tenth national championship since 2003.

“It’s a great feeling,” said Philip Scrubb, who claimed tournament and game MVP honours. “This being our last game, we wanted to come out and give it our best shot. Obviously, we played pretty well and it feels pretty good.”

The Gee-Gees played the later of the two semi-final games on Saturday night, tipping off at 8:30 p.m. against Ryerson, and it was obvious that two games in barely 18 hours was more than Ottawa could handle. The Gee-Gees finished the night with a 25 per cent field-goal percentage, going 14-for-56 and making just 4-of-26 three-pointers.

“We couldn’t get anything going offensively whatsoever,” said DeRouin. “They did an incredible job on the ball; their switching defense gave us headaches all night, they challenged every shot that we took.”

“They deserved to win — full credit to them and their coaching staff.”


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