By Ryan Curley, photo by Trevor Swann.
The Carleton Ravens men’s basketball team continued their undefeated start to the season on Dec. 2 with a 80-68 win over the Brock Badgers in front of a packed crowd at the Ravens’ Nest.
In a night that was far from perfect, Carleton still did enough to move to 4-0 on the season. In the first half, miscommunication by players often led to turnovers and backcourt violations, with passes being intercepted by Brock, or thrown out of bounds.
The first half also saw the Ravens struggle with their shooting—less than 36 per cent of their shots fell in the first. Despite being held to 35 points in the first half, Carleton owned a five-point advantage heading into the break.
The Badgers’ roster featured Dani Elgadi, a 2015-16 First-Team All-Canadian at a forward spot.
Fortunately for the Ravens, they did not have to deal with the prolific scorer as he was in foul trouble throughout the night.
Early in the second quarter, Elgadi was assessed his third foul, which had him cemented to the bench until late in the third frame. His third foul had the Brock bench screaming at the referees, while head coach Charles Kissi held his hands spread in disbelief.
Kissi was not the only one upset, as frustration at the play of his team had Ravens head coach Dave Smart’s head in his hands or him marching up and down his side of the court screaming instructions at his players.
To start the third quarter Brock went on a run, with guard Johneil Simpson hitting four straight midrange jumpers. He finished with a game high 18 points, shooting 7-for-17 from the field and 3-for-4 from the line.
With less than two minutes left in the third, Brock made a bucket to close within six points of Carleton.
The following Badger possession, a loose ball resulted in players from both teams diving to the floor. Eventually, Carleton guard Kaza Kajami-Keane retrieved the ball, raced down the court and laid it in.
Down the stretch, Kajami-Keane drove into the paint, and scored from beneath the basket repeatedly.
He and fellow fifth-year guard Connor Wood carried the team offensively in the second half. Kajami-Keane finished with 16 points and nine assists while Wood recorded 15 points, with nine points coming from outside the arc.
The Ravens followed up with an 81-67 win over the McMaster Marauders on Dec. 3, and will look to continue their winning ways when they return to the hardwood on Jan. 6 to take on the Laurier Golden Hawks.