Connor Wood's late game clutch shooting capped off a successful evening for the Carleton as the Ravens won their rematch with Baylor by a score of 79-73.
Wood hit two massive threes with under two minutes to play to put the Ravens up 75-70, giving Carleton a lead that they would not relinquish. The Ravens 4th year guard also contributed several key free throw shots in the final seconds to ice the game for good.
Just like the first game earlier in the day, the two teams played an aggressive back and forth contest. In the first quarter, Gavin Resch hit two 3-pointers to give the Ravens a boost. Kaza Kajami-Keane provided an offensive spark for the Ravens by dishing out 3 assists and making plays for his teammates.
While Keane contributed a team-high 20 points and 6 assists, it was evident that his presence on the floor gave the Ravens an extra boost of confidence against a bigger and more athletic Baylor side.
The Ravens took a slim lead into the half, 39-35, but it was Baylor who came out looking to take command of the game. Al Freeman got things started for the Bears early in the 3rd by earning the hoop and the harm, propelling the Bears into the lead, 39-38.
Baylor would hold onto the lead for the entire quarter as Taurean Prince and Rico Gathers excelled on the inside, providing the Bears with plenty of the second-chance opportunities. Gathers grabbed five of his rebounds in the quarter while Prince made a highlight-worthy block that got the Green (Lime) and Gold on their feet.
Baylor took a 7 point lead mid-way through the 3rd, but Carleton chipped away at the deficit with some important baskets from Kaza Kajami-Keane and Guillaume Boucard.
Down by only one score going into the 4th, the Ravens and Bears exchanged baskets until the very end. Finally, with little time remaining and the Ravens down 70-69, Connor Wood hit two huge trifectas to send the crowd into a frenzy. He came up big when it mattered the most. Wood also sank important free-throws to end Baylor's hope for a victory.
After the game, Wood spoke about his clutch shots. "It was a great feeling. It felt really good to get the momentum going back in our favour."
"We had a really close first game against Baylor, so to beat them the second game felt very rewarding," said Wood.
While Baylor won the first game, Carleton would not back down, fighting hard until the very end. The Ravens made a solid impression to their NCAA opponent.
"We knew a lot about Carleton and Ottawa and that's why we wanted to come [to Canada]. They play excellent basketball and they are well coached," said Baylor's coach Scott Drew in a post-game interview.
"We wanted to give our guys a chance to see what they could do against competitive teams that were going to stretch us," explained Drew..
He hopes that this experience will help his group later on this season. "Playing 4 games in 48 hours, we learned about our guys physical toughness and mental toughness."
Baylor had 8 blocks on the defensive end. Jo Acuil of the Bears had 4 blocks in just 6 minutes of court time. However, the Ravens won the rebounding battle 42-39 over the Bears.
The men's basketball team will enjoy this win for a moment before they turn their attention on the 2015 Can-Am Shootout finale against the Texas Tech Red Raiders on Wednesday, August 19th at 7 p.m.
Source: Carleton Ravens