In front of a roaring crowd of 300 fans, the Algoma Thunderbirds opened their 2015-16 season in the George Leach Centre tonight against the Brock Badgers.
In the men's action, both teams battled back and forth. The Number 4 ranked Brock Badgers edged ahead 3-2. Both teams went cold for two minutes until Algoma's Adam Benrabah went 1-2 from the charity stripe to tie the game. Algoma kept it close staying within one of Brock.
Going into the second quarter Brock led 15-12. Benrabah closed the gap early on with a shot from beyond the arc. Algoma's momentum continued, leading Brock 18-15 for the first time in the game. The Thunderbirds dominated the boards, widening the gap 23-18. Brock clawed their way back, but were unable to regain the lead until two minutes left in the quarter. The teams exchanged buckets down the stretch, with the game tied up at 28 points going into the second half.
A lay-up from Benrabah to open the second half gave Algoma the advantage, 30-28. Algoma widened the gap to 5 on the hands of Captain Sean Clendinning, causing Brock to take a time-out. Algoma's star newcomer Reng Gum took a hard hit, sidelining him for the remainder of the game. Despite losing the height of 6'7" Gum on the court, Algoma's rhythm continued, driving ahead to a 41-34 cushion. The Badger's Ryan Bennett sunk back-to-back threes to get within one of the Thunderbirds. Unable to keep pace, Brock led by two points going into the final 10 minutes.
Algoma went cold with just five minutes left, trailing Brock by 6. A huge three by Jacob Clendinning put the game back within reach of the Thunderbirds. In the final minutes Algoma went to the charity stripe to get within 4. Two free throws from Brock's Matt Marshall with just 7 seconds left to the buzzer gave the Badgers their second win of the season, 64-57.
Source: Algoma Thunderbirds
(OTTAWA, ON) — New season. New players. Same old result.
In Rob Smart's OUA regular season coaching debut, the Carleton Ravens dominated the flow of play in the second half to run roughshod over the visiting Laurentian Voyageurs in a 93-48 victory on Friday evening.
Newcomers Ryan Ejim (Toronto, ON) and Kaza Kajami-Keane (Ajax, ON) had promising OUA debuts for the Ravens as well, as Ejim scored 18 points and Kajami-Keane contributed 12 points for the defending national champs.
Laurentian did as much as they could in the first quarter to keep Carleton grounded, but the Ravens used their bench to gain the early 19-15 lead after one. Mitchell Wood (Guelph, ON), Marcus Anderson (Brampton, ON) and Sheldon McIntosh (Stoney Creek, ON) all contributed baskets in the game's opening quarter.
Carleton picked up the slack in the second quarter as Kajami-Keane took over to score some big baskets to build a fourteen point advantage before the half as the Ravens led 49-25 at the break.
"I thought Kaza did a great job taking control and settling down our guys in that second quarter," said head coach Rob Smart in his post-game rundown.
Laurentian's 9-35 shooting performance through the opening two quarters put them in an early hole and one that they would never climb out of. Former Carleton commit Anthony Iacoe poured in 10 points early on to help keep his team competitive, but this game belonged to the Ravens from start to finish.
To begin the third quarter, the Ravens went on a 13-0 scoring run to cement their domination on the V's. Ejim tallied 8 points, and Connor Wood (Guelph, ON), who had a relatively quiet game overall, had a putback dunk to get the crowd jazzed up. Cam Smythe (Vancouver, BC) followed suit just over a minute later with a slam of his own as the Ravens began to bustle with confidence.
Carleton's 37-8 undoing of Laurentian in the third quarter set the team up to play the fourth quarter primarily with their bench. Overall, the second unit added 45 points for Carleton compared to just 14 for Laurentian.
The Ravens would use a slight 17-15 fourth quarter advantage to close out the game.
"We going to need more out of veteran guys, there's no question," said Smart of his top players. "[The veterans] were lucky today that some guys stepped up, got some stops and showed some composure."
Freshman guard Stanley Mayambo (Fredericton, NB) had a quiet 10 points while first-year player Marcus Anderson also chipped in with 10 points for the Ravens.
While the team had a strong result overall, coach Smart knows that there are plenty of ways for the Ravens to get better going forward.
"There are some things the staff will have to look at to make [the team] comfortable and getting on the same page with some guys. It's a long season and we're trying to win in March."
Carleton will play the second game of their weekend double-header tomorrow night as the men host the Nipissing Lakers at 8 p.m.
T. Joseph Scanlon – A Loyal Carleton Ravens Supporter:
Prior to the opening tip-off, the Carleton Ravens celebrated the life of T. Joseph Scanlon with a tribute at centre court. Scanlon, a former faculty member and Professor Emeritus of Carleton's renowned School of Journalism and Communication, was a beloved member of the Ravens community and an avid basketball supporter for five decades. The first Professor T. Joseph Scanlon Award for Academic Excellence was presented to Carleton fourth-year forward, Ryan Ejim.
Source: Carleton Ravens
The racetrack was open for business on the opening night of Ottawa's OUA regular season schedule. The Gee-Gees paced the Nipissing Lakers from the opening tip, enjoying the comforts of their home gym to the tune of 55 per cent shooting on en route to a 91-49 win.
The no. 1 ranked Gee-Gees wasted no time taking control and opened the game on a 22-2 run with all players involved. Mike L'Africain would finish the game as the high scorer with 20 points, followed by Caleb Agada with 17 points and 10 rebounds.
The defensive energy was ramped up on the Ottawa side, holding the Lakers to 13 first half points and forcing 11 turnovers in the first quarter alone.
Ottawa shot a scorching 13-for-18 from the field in the third quarter, buoyed by solid play around the basket and four offensive rebounds from Agada. The lead grew to as much as 47 points early in the fourth quarter.
The Gee-Gees had solid balance in their inside and outside games, receiving contributions from posts Nathan McCarthy, Brody Maracle, Noel Jones, and Vikas Gill.
"They are quality bigs and we really feel like we can take advantage of our inside game this year," said Gee-Gees head coach James Derouin. "It means maybe a few less threes but it gives us a chance to work on something that we think is going to help us down the line."
Ottawa will host its second regular season home game on Saturday night against the Laurentian Voyaguers. Tiip off is set for 8 p.m., and the match will be part of the Shoot For the Cure Initiative to raise awareness and funds for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation.
Source: Ottawa Gee-Gees
Lakehead and Guelph fought tooth and nail for 40 minutes, and it was a miracle they didn't need overtime, as the Thunderwolves escaped with a 65-64 victory to open the OUA regular season.
With 0.4 seconds on the clock, Lakehead up by 1, and Guelph's 5th year Jack Beatty with two free throws to seal the game for the Gryphons, the unthinkable happened. Twice. After the first of Beatty's free throws clanged off the rim, the Thunderdome erupted into a frenzy. The second missed, and the victory went to the home side.
Coach Manny Furtado was first to take the blame for the near-loss.
"Nonetheless, we competed really hard and played for 40 minutes tonight. Guelph is a very physical team and they showed it tonight. We need to be ready for another tough one tomorrow."
Alex Robichaud scored 12 points with 9 rebounds (5 offensive), and it was a shockingly off game for Bacarius Dinkins, who went 3-for-12 from the field with just 3 rebounds and 2 trips to the free throw line.
The teams rematch tomorrow at 8pm.
Source: Lakehead Thunderwolves