(Photo by Gregory M. Campbell)
TORONTO (CIS) – The top-seeded Carleton University Ravens will play for their fifth straight W.P. McGee Trophy after defeating the No. 4 Victoria Vikes 83-74 in the first semifinal game at the 2015 ArcelorMittal Dofasco CIS Final 8 Men's Basketball Championship at Ryerson's Mattamy Athletic Centre, Saturday evening.
Ravens guard Phil Scrubb (Richmond, B.C.) flirted with a triple-double, posting 29 points, 13 assists and eight rebounds to earn player of the game status for the Ravens. He was one of four Carleton players to reach double figures in scoring, along with Jean-Emmanuel Pierre-Charles (14), Victor Raso (12) and Connor Wood (10), as a balanced attack led the Ravens to victory.
Carleton jumped on Victoria early in the game and put up 27 first quarter points to build a 12-point lead at 27-15 after ten minutes.
"We got out to a slow start," said Victoria head coach Craig Beaucamp. "The one thing Carleton does better than any other team in the country is they come out of the gate running. Like good teams do, when you make mistakes they make you pay for it."
Victoria made some adjustments in the second quarter to get better looks offensively but by halftime still found themselves trailing 48-32.
In the third quarter, a stretch of eight straight points from Phil Scrubb helped the Ravens reach their largest lead of the game at 27 points with 6:45 to play. After a Victoria timeout, the Vikes put together a run of their own to slash the deficit back down to 15 but at the end of three quarters the Ravens led 67-50.
In the fourth, Victoria continued to claw back into the game and opened the quarter on a 6-0 run to cut the lead to just 11 points. Carleton's Wood hit an important three-pointer to halt the Vikes' momentum and put the Ravens back up by 16. Despite a 24-point quarter from Victoria, the deficit proved to be too large as Carleton came away with the 83-74 victory.
Despite the victory, Phil Scrubb and head coach Dave Smart both talked about a defensive lapse in the second half that they will be looking to address heading into tomorrow's final.
"We didn't play well enough in the second half and if we play like that tomorrow we're likely going to lose," said Scrubb. "We've got a lot of things to work on and each individual guy knows what they have to do."
The Ravens have the opportunity to win their fifth straight championship on Sunday at 3 p.m. (live on Sportsnet 360 & Sportsnet ONE), which would tie their streak set back during the 2003-2007 seasons. Carleton, which owns a record 10 W.P. McGee Trophies overall, will play the winner of the second semifinal between the No. 3 Ottawa Gee-Gees and No. 7 Ryerson Rams.