The Carleton Ravens and Ryerson Rams men’s basketball teams punched their tickets Friday to the U SPORTS Final 8 with wins in their respective Wilson Cup semifinals.
Despite three quarters of fairly close play, the #1 seeded Ravens comfortably dispatched the #4 seeded Brock Badgers, 89-64, to book their spot in Saturday’s OUA Wilson Cup Final.
The nightcap saw #3 Ryerson edge #2 Ottawa 76-75 in a final-minute thriller that ended on a controversial non-call.
Semifinal #1 | Carleton Ravens 89 – 64 Brock Badgers
The visitors from St. Catharines competed gamely with the defending national champions for the better part of 30 minutes, before a 15-3 fourth-quarter run iced it for the Ravens.
Carleton guard Kaza Kajami-Keane posted a game-high 25 points, with the other talking point being the total neutralization of Brock star Dani Elgadi: The Badger strong man was held to just five points in Friday’s loss.
Ravens guard Marcus Anderson had 19 points, four steals and a game-high 12 rebounds for Dave Smart’s squad.
“My veterans told me to come out and shoot the ball, so I was lucky to find my space and get shots off,” said Anderson, a Brampton, Ont. native. “We had guys being physical on (Elgadi), kept him off the boards, and that was a big part of the win.”
Carleton notably went to its bench early, with the likes of Emmanuel Owootoah, Joe Rocca, and Mitch Wood all earning double-digit minutes off the bench.
Semifinal #2 | Ryerson Rams 76 – 75 Ottawa Gee-Gees
Some clutch shooting from Ammanuel Diressa and Keevon Small down the stretch gave the Ryerson Rams all they needed on Friday night, as Roy Rana’s squad edged the Ottawa Gee-Gees to book a return trip to nationals.
“It just speaks to the sustained excellence that we’re trying to build,” said Rana of his team’s return to the national tournament. “It’s all about our student experience, and for our players to get that opportunity in Halifax will be special.”
The Rams reversed a seven-point, fourth quarter deficit on the Gee-Gees to earn the victory on a night where neither squad was at its best. Ryerson shot just 41 percent from the floor, while uOttawa was a paltry 58 percent from the charity stripe in a game that saw the lead change hands 16 times.
“We never quit, stayed in the ball game, and that’s a reflection on our leadership,” said Rana. “Between us and Ottawa, those games always come down to possessions—our big players made big plays.”
The game ended on a controversial note when Ottawa’s Brandon Robinson collided with Ryerson’s Adika Peter-McNeilly while driving for a potential game-winning layup. The officials deemed it a clean block, much to the chagrin of the pro-Ottawa crowd and incensing the Gee-Gees bench in the process.
The Ravens will meet Ryerson in tomorrow night’s Wilson Cup Final. With a provincial banner—likely more meaningful to the Rams than Ravens—on the line, it should be a stiffer test for Carleton than the one posed by Brock this evening.
Ottawa will face the Badgers in a bronze medal game which, depending on results in the Atlantic Conference, could determine the wildcard berth at nationals in Halifax.
Tip-off on the bronze game is slated for 5:00 PM, with the Wilson Cup final set for 7:00 PM—both games will be available on OUA.tv and Rogers Television.