By Elio Elia
Photos courtesy of Carleton University/Valerie Wutti
The Calgary Dinos were the first casualty of the Carleton Ravens juggernaut men’s basketball team at the university championships.
The Ravens beat the Dinos comfortably by a score of 82-66 in their Friday afternoon game at Lansdowne’s TD Place arena. Carleton will advance to the semifinals of the U Sports Final 8 and play their next match-up against the Western Mustangs on Saturday night. The Ravens’ game against the Mustangs will be a rematch of this season’s Wilson Cup.
In the quarterfinals, the Dinos managed to keep the first quarter tight against the Ravens. It ended in a 19-14 Carleton advantage, with Ottawa’s Lloyd Pandi, a first-year guard, as a standout for the Ravens.
Carleton established their dominance in the second quarter, scoring 24 points en route to a 43-25 Ravens halftime lead. Windsor’s Isiah Osborne scored crucial buckets for the Ravens in the quarter.
The Dinos outscored the Ravens 20 to 18 in the third quarter. Nevertheless, Carleton was unflustered up 61-45 three-quarters of the way through the game.
The University of Calgary poured in a similar effort in the fourth quarter, as both teamed were even with 21 points apiece. While the game was a repeat of last year’s U Sports national championship, in this edition the Ravens were clearly the superior team.
Osborne’s 20 points, six rebounds and single assist earned him the Nike Top Performer award for the Ravens. Second-year Aylmer forward Biniam Ghebrekiden was also a standout for Carleton, with his 12 points, 11 rebounds and one assist.
In his first Final 8 game, Pandi showed out in front of the home crowd with 12 points, 2 assists and 4 rebounds. Ottawa’s Yasiin Joseph, one of the team’s leaders as a fifth year, scored 7 points, 2 assists and hauled down 4 rebounds.
Aiden Warnholtz, formerly of Ottawa’s Canada Topflight Academy preparatory program, notched 8 minutes for the Ravens.
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Marcus Anderson and Munis Tutu, from Brampton and Windsor respectively, combined for 16 points for Carleton.
The Ravens dominated in the typical fashion that the team’s displayed over their last near-two decades of dominance, playing tactical basketball to almost-perfection.
Similarly to last year’s finals, the Ravens looked comfortable against the Dinos. In a dominant opening performance at the locally-held nationals, the defending champs seemed poised to be a top contender to take home the W.P. McGee Trophy once again this year.
Keep reading the Ottawa Sportspage for coverage of uOttawa and Carleton throughout the weekend of the U Sports Final 8.