Carleton stays true to dominant form in front of over 10,000 at Canadian Tire Centre
With five games left in the regular season, the Gee-Gees faced off against the Carleton Ravens for the annual Capital Hoops matchup. The game drew over 10,000 fans for the third year in a row, continuing to be one of the highest-attended university basketball games in the country.
A weak offensive attack in the first three quarters ultimately resulted in the women’s team losing 57–44 at the hands of the Ravens.
The Gees struggled from the get-go, as Carleton scored the first basket of the game thanks to a flurry of offensive rebounds. The intensity of the game was put on display early on, with head coach Andy Sparks being issued a warning.
The Ravens lead 12–8 after the first quarter.
The Gees struggled to contain Ravens forward Heather Lindsay on the glass in the first half, trailing them 24–19 on the boards. Three shots from long range made the difference on the scoreboard as the Ravens held a 3–0 lead in three-pointers, leading the Gees 28–19 at half.
The Ravens came out with nine unanswered points to start the third quarter, stretching their lead to 33–19.
It took the Gees until the four-minute mark to finally get their first points of the second half. A lack of offensive firepower resulted in the Garnet and Grey trailing 43–23 going into the fourth.
Gees guard Sarah Besselink came out hot with seven points in the quarter before the midway mark. However, the Gees continued to trail 50–33 with 6:15 to go. Besselink and her teammates pushed hard at the end, but it was too little too late and the Ravens took the contest handily 57–44.
“Coming out of halftime we just weren’t prepared for that, and ultimately they had a better game plan coming out of half-time,” said Besselink. “We didn’t execute on the offensive end and we didn’t get stops on the defensive end.”
Besselink said the Ravens’ size was an obstacle they just weren’t able to overcome.
“They’re bigger, so we had to emphasize on the box-outs and that didn’t happen today.”
“We had to have a game plan to try to take Heather Lindsay out of it,” said Sparks. “The game plan was when she put the ball on the floor we would double her. That got the ball out of her hands, but it also loosened up a lot of weak side rebounds.”
The Gees must regroup quickly to finish their last four games of the regular season. The loss puts the U of O’s regular season record at 10–5.
The men’s team came out of Capital Hoops a little better than the women, but a poor third quarter killed their chances of getting a win. The team lost 74–61, leaving 12 points on the free-throw line and hitting only 26.2 per cent of their threes.
“Free-throws were a big problem for us. I think I was 1–6 today, so that makes a pretty big difference for us,” said guard Brandon Robinson. “That just comes down to focus, and that pretty much kept us in or out of the game.”
The first basket went to the Gees on the fast-break off a Ravens turnover. A big three from Gage Sabean gave the U of O a one-point lead with seconds left, but Carleton responded with a basket just before the buzzer sounded to retake the lead. The score stood at 14–13 at the end of one.
A quick-release three-pointer by Robinson tied the game for the Gees just a minute and a half into the second quarter. Caleb Agada showed why he was the 2016 defensive player of the year, with a clutch charge to negate a bucket by the Ravens.
After a scramble for the rebound, the Ravens tied it up at 26–26 with just under two minutes left. Robinson hit another three to give the Gees a 29–26 lead.
At the half, the Gees were down 31–29. Robinson led the Gees with twelve points in the half. The Ravens took a huge 25–14 advantage on the glass to hurt the Gees.
The Ravens completely overwhelmed the Garnet and Grey in the third, taking a 23–9 advantage in the period. The Gees were only shooting a dismal 23.5 per cent from the field going into the final quarter.
Adam Presutti hit a big three to cut the Ravens lead to 58–43 with six and a half minutes to go in the final quarter. Jean-Emmanuel Pierre-Charles converted a three-point play to cut the lead to 12.
The Gees kept putting in buckets, but so did the Ravens.
The score stood at 72–58 with 50 seconds left. The comeback fell short with Carleton responding to all the Gees’ momentum and taking the game by the final score of 74–61.
“Obviously, they’re a very good team defensively, but that makes no difference when you have a wide-open shot,” said Robinson “We had wide-open shots that we didn’t make. We had typical hook-shots in the post that we usually make. That has nothing to do with defense when you’re missing wide-open ones.”
Shooting percentage was again a factor in their loss against Carleton as the Gees shot only 29.2 per cent from the field and 26.8 per cent on threes.
“When you coach a game and you get the looks that you want and you don’t hit them, obviously you’re not happy,” said head coach James Derouin. “But I’ll live with (Matt) Plunkett shooting open threes.”
The next home game for the Gee-Gees will take place on Feb. 17 at Montpetit Hall against the University of Toronto. Tickets can be purchased from the Gee-Gees website.