By Ryan Curley, photo by Trevor Swann
Back from a two-game road trip, the Carleton Ravens women’s basketball team extended its winning streak, when they defeated the Brock Badgers by a score of 73-49 at the Ravens’ Nest.
“I thought we played hard, I don’t think we played particularly well,” Ravens head coach Taffe Charles said. “I think at the end of the day, I was hoping as a group we would play a lot better, but I thought we played hard enough [and] we were happy to be back at home.”
The Ravens shot 50 per cent from the field in the first quarter and were aided by five Brock turnovers. Despite Carleton’s efficiency shooting the ball and Brock’s sloppiness, the Badgers only trailed by four points at end of the frame.
Brock’s sloppy play continued into the second with errant passes and travelling violations. They had seven more turnovers than Carleton by the end of the half.
The differential was reflected in the scoreboard, where Catherine Traer’s 10 first-half points helped push the Ravens’ lead to 16. The Ravens were able to maintain the lead through the rest of the game, and never allowed the Badgers to come within 10 points of the lead.
The game was put out of reach late in the third for Brock. Carleton guard Stephanie Carr drove into the defence and hurled a pass to teammate Jenjen Abella, who was standing wide open in the corner and promptly buried a three pointer. The lead expanded until it was more than 20 points by the end of the quarter.
The final quarter saw sloppy play from both teams, as well as some edge. With less than a minute remaining Abella was clipped with an elbow trying to navigate around Brock center Shannon Northey’s screen and Northey was assessed a foul.
The fourth quarter also saw the return of Traer to the court, having been taken out after being hit in the face causing apparent bleeding. She returned to the court having swapped her number 11 for a number eight jersey.
The following night, the Ravens were able to take down the McMaster Marauders by a score of 77-51.
Leading into the game, the Marauders were ranked as the top team in the nation, according to U Sports, while the Ravens were fourth. The Ravens were previously ranked first at the start of the season, but had been in fourth since a season-opening loss to Algoma.
“I think you focus on [the top 10] because it helps your recruiting, because the top kids want to be associated with the top 10 teams,” Charles said. “I think it’s important in that sense, however in the grand scheme of things, it’s not that important.”
Charles added he believes that anybody can beat anybody in the league, and top teams losing early in the season evidences the parity of the league.
“I think that’s what you’re seeing a little bit, people are putting their best efforts against you and you have to be prepared for that,” he said. “Especially for us, the first time I don’t think we were prepared for people’s best efforts [and] we didn’t realize how fragile a ranking is.”
The Ravens will remain active during the Christmas break, as they head to Halifax to take on Atlantic University Sport teams as part of the Thunder Selects Tournament from Dec. 28-30.
The regular season will resume for Carleton on Jan. 6 when they take on the Laurier Golden Hawks.
Charles said in order for the team to maintain success in the second semester, they will have to stay humble and learn from their loss to Algoma earlier in the season.
“People learn more from a loss than they do from a win unfortunately,” Charles said. “You tell people, we gotta play harder, that anybody can beat us, and then when it actually happens—the biggest thing is it’s a reminder.”
—With files from Cameron Penney