RAVENS CLAIM RECORD TYING 8TH W.P. McGEE TROPHY

(Photo: Nick Pearce)

HALIFAX (CIS) – The top-seeded Carleton University Ravens claimed a record-tying eighth W.P. McGee Trophy with a dominating 86-67 win over the No. 2 Alberta Golden Bears in the gold medal final of the 50th CIS men’s basketball championship, presented by Subway, Sunday afternoon at the Metro Centre.

It was the second straight national title for the Ravens, who have captured their eight banners in a span of only 10 years. The powerhouse from Ottawa has now won each of the last seven CIS tournaments contested in Halifax since 2003 and is riding a 23-game winning streak at the Metro Centre dating back to a 78-77 quarter-final loss to McMaster in 2001.
 
Carleton is now tied with the Victoria Vikes, who won a record seven consecutive titles from 1980 to 1986 and triumphed again in 1997.
 
The OUA champion Ravens, who beat No. 8 Acadia 82-68 in Friday’s opening round and defeated No. 5 Fraser Valley 83-65 in Saturday’s semifinals, conclude the season with an unblemished 34-0 overall record against CIS competition.
 
The Golden Bears were playing in the national final for the first time since 2002, when they edged Western 76-71 to claim their third McGee Trophy. The Canada West champions dominated No. 7 Ryerson 81-52 on Friday, before beating No. 6 StFX 91-83 in the semis.
 
Carleton led the 50th CIS gold medal game from start to finish and was up 31-17 after one quarter, 52-32 at halftime and 76-50 after 30 minutes.
 
The Ravens finished with a significant advantage in every statistical category. They out-rebounded their rivals 38-29, dominated 44-20 in points in the paint, shot 57.4 per cent from the field, compared to 34.4 for Alberta, and scored on 40.9 per cent of their three-point attempts, compared to 25.0 for the Bears.
 
“It was definitely our best all-around effort of the weekend,” said Carleton head coach Dave Smart, who was named CIS coach of the year for a record fifth time before the tournament. “We defended really well early on and it set the tone.”
 
Phil Scrubb, who was announced as the CIS player of the year on Thursday, completed a dream week when he received the Jack Donohue Trophy as the tournament MVP. The sophomore guard from Richmond, B.C., led the Ravens in scoring for the third straight day with a 26-point output in the title match. He had netted 25 in the first round and 18 in the semis.
 
“It feels great. This was our goal since the start of the season,” said Scrubb, who finished third in tournament scoring with 23.0 points per game. “All the guys made big plays today. It was a complete team effort. Tyson was awesome.”
 
Tyson Hinz earned game-MVP honours for the winners thanks to his 20 points on 8-of-13 shooting from the field. The third-year forward from Ottawa, last year’s CIS most outstanding player, also had four rebounds, one assist and one steal.
 
“We came out aggressive and we kept the pressure on. We had a great game plan and I guess it worked pretty well,” said Hinz, who accompanied Scrubb on the championship all-star team. “I have two years left, and I want two more.”
 
Willy Manigat also scored in double figures for the champs, with 14 points. The guard from Ottawa was one of three fifth-year seniors on the team along with Cole Hobin of Ashton, Ont., and Elliot Thompson of Fredericton.
 
In his final university outing, Daniel Ferguson paced Alberta with 25 points to finish as the tourney’s top scorer with an average of 26.3 per contest. He was named the Bears’ game MVP and a championship all-star.
 
The impressive point total doesn’t tell the whole story however. The fifth-year guard from Malton, Ont., was bothered all day by Carleton’s relentless defence and made only six of 22 field goals, including 3-of-12 shooting from beyond the arc. He scored 10 of his points on 11 free throw attempts.
 
Edmonton natives Shar Saffa and Jordan Baker both scored 12 points in the loss. Saffa was selected to the all-tourney team.
 
“It’s a different thing scouting them on tape than playing them,” said Alberta head coach Greg Francis. “Dave (Smart) has set the gold standard for CIS men’s basketball programs. It’s a great thing to chase after.”
 
The Bears took their only lead of the final two minutes and 42 seconds in when a Matthew Cardoza three-pointer made it 11-8 Alberta.
 
Carleton responded with a 23-6 run to close out the opening quarter and from there, the outcome of the championship match was never in doubt.
 
Manigat ended the first half with back-to-back treys, the second one with three seconds remaining, to send his team to the locker room with an insurmountable 20-point advantage.
 
Hobin made it a 25-point affair, at 61-36, with a three-point shot of his own midway through the third, and a bucket by Kevin Churchill with 35 seconds left in the frame opened a game-high 30-point gap (75-45).
 
NOTES: Terry Thomas of bronze medallist StFX and Kyle Grewal of Fraser Valley rounded out the tournament all-stars... Acadia’s Thomas Filgiano received the R.W. Pugh Fair Play Award... The Final 8 tournament goes back to Scotiabank Place in Ottawa for the next two years.
 
STAT LEADERS
Scoring by quarter:
CAR 31-21-24-10:86
ALB 17-15-18-17: 67
Carleton
Points: Phil Scrubb (26), Tyson Hinz (20), Willy Manigat (14)
Rebounds: Phil Scrubb (8), Thomas Scrubb (5)
Assists: Phil Scrubb (5), Elliot Thompson (3)
Subway player of the game: Tyson Hinz
 
Alberta
Points: Daniel Ferguson (25), Jordan Baker (12), Sahr Saffa (12)
Rebounds: Jordan Baker (8), Robert Dewar (4), Lyndon Taylor (4)
Assists: Jordan Baker (6)
Subway player of the game: Daniel Ferguson
 
CHAMPIONSHIP AWARDS
Tournament MVP (Jack Donohue Trophy): Phil Scrubb, Carleton
R.W. Pugh Fair Play Award: Thomas Filgiano, Acadia
Tournament All-Stars:
Phil Scrubb, Carleton
Tyson Hinz, Carleton
Daniel Ferguson, Alberta
Sahr Saffa, Alberta
Terry Thomas, St. Francis Xavier *
Kyle Grewal, Fraser Valley *
* tie