Laurentian men's basketball team in tough

By: Randy Pascal – Playback

 | Jan 14, 2014 - 3:29 PM |
There must be times when coach Shawn Swords and the Laurentian Voyageurs men's basketball team dream of being in any division in the country other than the OUA East.

Such is your lot when three of the top four ranked teams in the nation provide your day-to-day competition.

The Voyageurs bore the brunt of that divisional excellence at home over the weekend, swept aside by the top two teams in the CIS. The Carleton Ravens (No. 1) set the tone on Friday, systematically picking apart the Voyageurs at the Ben Avery Gym and cruising to an 88-54 victory.

The Ravens had five players hit double digits in a very balanced offence, including Thomas Scrubb (18), Clinton Springer-Williams (16), Philip Scrubb (11), Tyson Hinz (11) and Connor Wood (11).

Alex Ratte finished with a game-high 19-point effort for Laurentian, with Ryan Bennett adding 10 points and Josh Budd chipping in with eight. Carleton increased their lead each and every quarter, moving from 21-15 to 42-28 at the half and 70-41 with three quarters in the books.

A 42-25 advantage in rebounds translated to many more shot attempts for the Ravens, hitting for 31/71 from the floor, compared to 13/55 for the homeside.

Gherick Uneau and Nelson Yengue both fouled out for Laurentian, with Uneau held completely off the scoresheet in playing only seven minutes on the night.

Things were only mildly better on Saturday as the Ottawa Gee Gees rode a 21-9 second quarter outburst to a 93-72 victory over the Voyageurs. Sharp-shooting guard Johnny Berhanemeskel was front and centre for the visitors, netting 29 points and shooting at a 73.3-per-cent clip (11/15).

Caleb Agada added 20 points for Ottawa, with Gabriel Gonthier-Dubue (17) and Terry Thomas (12) also cracking the 10-point barrier. Ratte again showed the way for the Voyageurs, adding another 22 points to his stat line, with Bennett and Tychon Carter-Newmanchipping in with 15 and 10 respectively.

A run-and-gun opening quarter found the Gee Gees holding on to a 30-24 lead, with the wheels falling off significantly for the blue and gold in quarter two.

Laurentian rallied somewhat in the third, outscoring the visitors 27-22, but it only put a dent in what was then an 18-point lead.

Carter-Newman and Yengue led LU with eight rebounds apiece, with Josh Budd adding seven as Laurentian was edged out, only slightly, on the boards (40-39). With a record of 7-4, the Voyageurs find themselves in a three-way tie for fourth place in the OUA East, with both the Queen's Gaels and York Lions at 7-5.

Coach Swords and company undertake a very busy four day stretch mid-week, travelling to Sault Ste. Marie to face the Algoma Thunderbirds in a rescheduled contest. The team is back at home Friday night, playing host to Queen's and battling York on Saturday.

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