Ravens, Gee-Gees look to win CIS title at home — Sportsnet.ca

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Ravens, Gee-Gees look to win CIS at home

March 7, 2014, AM

OTTAWA (CIS) – The Ottawa and Carleton Ravens both a golden opportunity to capture a title in front of their fans this weekend as head into the ArcelorMittal CIS men’s basketball championship as the top two teams in the field.

The 2014 8, hosted by Carleton University, under way Friday at Canadian Centre in Ottawa and culminates at 2 p.m. with the gold-medal live on Sportsnet.

Sportsnet has live coverage of Saturday’s at 6 and 8 p.m. on Sportsnet 360. All 10 from the competition – including contests – will be webcast on www.CIS-SIC.tv.

In their quest for the McGee Trophy, the Gee-Gees champions) and Ravens (OUA are joined by the third-seeded Alberta Bears (Canada West No. 4 Victoria Vikes (Canada finalists), No. 5 McGill Redmen champions), No.

6 Saint Mary’s (AUS champions), No. 7 McMaster (OUA bronze medallists) and No. 8 Huskies (Canada West medallists).

In Friday’s quarter-finals, will battle Saint in the 12:30 p.m. opener, by Carleton vs. McMaster at 2:30 Victoria vs. McGill at 5:30 and Ottawa vs.

Saskatchewan in the 8 p.m.

The Ravens, who enter the competition as three-time champions after their record ninth Trophy overall a year were ranked No. 1 in the country all with archrival Ottawa in second place in each of the 11 weekly national polls.

However, the Gee-Gees handed its first loss of the campaign in OUA final, erasing a 10-point in the last three minutes of to prevail 78-77. The upset win Ottawa the top seed heading the CIS tournament for the first time in history.

Despite the No. 2 status, still consider Carleton to be the to beat this weekend. all, the three times failed to capture the OUA crown 2003 (2011, 2007, the Ravens quickly got back on feet and won the national banner.

makes a strong case as of course, and after claiming first-ever CIS medal last (bronze), this could be the the Gee-Gees finally dethrone neighbours as the top team in the nation’s and, more importantly, in the

In his fourth campaign at the helm, coach James Derouin has led his to a sparkling 34-2 overall versus CIS competition, with losses coming against in league play (94-73 on 29 / 82-58 on Jan. 21).

The offence in the nation (96.4 per game), which dropped 101 on McMaster in the OUA semis (101-68), is by conference all-stars Terry (22.4), a StFX transfer who the X-Men to CIS bronze in 2012, and Berhanemeskel (20.5), who sank the shot with 0.5 seconds in the OUA final.

“Our team is very high right We’ve been playing well for the last month or two and we are looking to keep it going,” Derouin, whose team is since its January loss to reaching the 100-point plateau in all but of those wins. “We’re to be at home for the nationals again. We had highs and lows at the tournament year and we are looking to take experiences, with the twelve on our roster who have been of nationals, and put out a strong performance.”

Prior to the OUA final, the Ravens enjoying another signature season. Led by former CIS players of the Philip Scrubb (18.6 and Tyson Hinz (14.6), as as two-way standout Thomas the defending champs finished in the country in both points (94.2) and against (62.2) in action. In addition to the two conference over Ottawa, their 30-1 overall mark CIS opponents includes victories Final 8-bound Victoria Saint Mary’s (90-87) and (83-72).

“The Final 8 is extremely competitive and a very championship to win. It’s games in three days and if you to win you will need a really compete level,” says Smart, who has been named CIS of the year a record six times and has an head coaching mark of in 12 previous appearances at the tournament. “We are focused on our first game McMaster on Friday afternoon. Our is for that game, we’re not ahead to Saturday or Sunday.”

Alberta came oh-so-close to a fourth McGee Trophy to its two years ago in its most recent appearance, falling to Carleton in the game. The Golden Bears Victoria 82-77 in last Canada West final to to 31-3 overall in CIS competition, an unblemished 7-0 mark against 8 foes. In his final university forward Jordan Baker, who was a key of the 2012 Bears, earned honours after he led the team in scoring (17.6) and rebounding

“We have a very experienced and roster. Joel Friesen, Bergen-Henengouwen, Jordan Baker, Saffa and Rob Dewar have all in this tournament before. We some depth and the ability for a player to step up on different which will help in a format,” says second-year U of A boss Barnaby Craddock, who led two other programs to the Final 8, in 2007 (silver medal) and Valley in 2012 (fourth).

for the CIS championship is a tough task and a Many good teams not had a chance to play in this tournament. We look forward to the competition that it will

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Making their second CIS championship appearance, the Canada finalist Vikes can only do this time around in the after being dominated by Carleton in last year’s round. Victoria can count on the duo of forward Terrell Evans and 6-foot-10 post Chris (14.7) on offence, but defence has the key to success this year for which allowed a CIS-low points per game in league Looking for their first Trophy triumph since the Vikes could tie the Ravens on with a ninth CIS title

“We are excited to return to Ottawa year. We have a solid core and we are hoping that our last year at the nationals pay dividends this year,” head coach Craig who led the Vikes to their last in the CIS final in 2006, a close-fought loss to Carleton in Halifax.

McGill returned to the CIS tourney for the time since 1979 a ago and didn’t look out of place, two of three contests on its way to a fifth-place including an 80-68 consolation victory over Victoria, its opponent on Friday. Boasting the best defence in the country the Redmen completely neutralized in Sunday’s RSEQ final en to an easy 73-47 win. young lineup features freshmen, three of them

“The inexperience that we initially concerned about been an issue as our kids proven that they can in big games. We’re playing our basketball down the stretch, our have proven that we here and we’re looking to any matchup we face,” says DeAveiro, in his fourth season the McGill sidelines after years at the helm of the Ottawa which included three to the national tourney. “Our to shoot from all over of spaces out the floor for us and gives us options. We led our conference in three-point which is good going a tournament like this.”

Mary’s is back on the national for the first time since under the leadership of second-year coach Jonah Taussig, a all-Canadian who helped the Huskies their most recent CIS – and their fourth overall – in Led by Theon Reefer (18.8) and Vassell (16.3), the Huskies the fourth best offensive in the country in league play and looked very solid at the AUS defeating UPEI by 16 in the semis and 81-72 in the final.

Back on Oct. 5, Saint gave Carleton all it could in pre-season action and had the lead in the minute, before dropping a decision.

“We’ll look to an up-tempo game and try to take of our athletes,” Taussig says. “We to play a focused game for the 40 minutes especially on the defensive We have a mix of seniors and younger and I think all are excited and ready for the big

McMaster is another team a return to the Final 8, qualifying for the time since 2006. a crushing 101-68 defeat at the of Ottawa in the OUA semis, the Marauders had one chance to punch their to the CIS tournament and they made the of it, claiming a thrilling 93-89 victory against OUA West Windsor in the conference bronze-medal The Hamilton program is still for its first McGee Trophy despite playing in five finals, the last one in 1998.

mindset has to be that we are coming the tournament to win it and not just win one game. is no easy path if we are going to win a championship, because we know we to play teams like Ottawa, and Alberta,” says boss Amos Connolly, troops are facing the daunting of stopping Carleton in the opening “Our path potentially through the top three seeds, but I our guys are excited about the

Thanks to the at-large berth they were awarded on night, the Saskatchewan Huskies get to to the venue where they the lone CIS banner in program in 2010, when they then top-seeded Carleton in the en route to the title. It has been an year for the Saskatoon squad, ended conference play a 15-7 record and lost to for the third time in as many this season, before against Fraser Valley in the West bronze-medal contest. is one of many high-scoring teams at week’s tourney (83.5 thanks in large part to San product Stephon Lamar

“We are honoured to be selected to receive the berth. It is a real testament to the strength of the Canada West this season,” says coach Barry Rawlyk. “We a relatively young team no players ever participating in a 8 before, so we are very excited at the of competing against the best from across Canada. The of our team lies in our versatility, as our has been shared by a number of over the course of the season. will be critical to our success in the 8.”

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