Women’s basketball dominates in season openers

The Carleton Ravens women’s basketball team opened their regular season at home with two wins over the Guelph Gryphons and Algoma Thunderbirds.

Carleton beat Guelph 89-46, with help from All-Canadian centre Heather Lindsay’s game-high 21 points and 10 rebounds.

The team got off to a blistering 24-2 start, as Ravens players found Lindsay in the post. She scored 13 points early in the game from around the paint and at the free throw line.

The Ravens also shot 33 per cent from the three-point arch as Elizabeth Leblanc, Jenjen Abella, and Stephanie Carr stretched the lead.

Defensively, the team forced Guelph into 22 turnovers and had 14 steals. Carleton was also successful in getting to the free throw line early, while limiting Guelph’s opportunities there.

The Ravens held the Gryphons to seven points early in the second quarter after Leblanc finished at the rim and Carr hit another three to make it 41-7.

The home side led 56-20 at halftime, but Guelph kept pace in the second half. The Gryphons outscored the Ravens 16-14 in the fourth, led by first-year guard Burke Bechard’s nine points.

“We came out pretty strong,” Lindsay said, “The first game is usually a little shaky, but I thought we did a good job of keeping control and working hard on the rebounds.”

The Ravens offensive setup steamrolled the Gryphon’s defence throughout the game.

“We just work a lot on high-low game and we’ve got some really good shooters on the perimeter to clean it up,” Lindsay said.

The Ravens avenged last year’s home opener loss to Algoma by beating the Thunderbirds 93-37 the next night.

The team got off to another fast 6-0 start and shot even better from beyond the arc at 39 per cent.

However, Algoma’s Karina Cole and Sydney Resch responded with a strong showing from behind the arch to keep their side close. The Ravens ended the first quarter on top 18-7 after a Madison Reid layup and two free throws from Lindsay.

Reid also showed her range from deep with a three-pointer to open the second quarter. The team carried a 22-1 run from the first into the second.

During the run, Abella knocked down a three from a Cynthia Dupont pass and hit a jumper on the next possession as well to make it 28-7. Algoma then called timeout to try and regain composure and break up the Carleton offensive streak.

Ravens guard Alexandra Trivieri led the Ravens late in the game, shooting three-for-four from the three-point line.

Trivieri added another three-pointer later in the quarter to make it 67-26. Leblanc scored 12 of her 14 points in the third.

Carleton outscored Algoma 34-11 in the third and 22-10 in the fourth on route to a 93-37 dominating victory.

“We started slow in the beginning and all [head coach Taffe Charles] wanted was energy and effort and we brought it in the second half once we got into it,” said Abella, who had nine points and three steals.

Both Abella and Lindsay said the defence can still improve and the team has things they need to work on despite the strong performance.

“We got to make sure we’re rebounding on every play,” Lindsay said. “Our [defensive] side: we have to work on helping and being in stance and focusing on getting stops without fouling.”

The Ravens next games will be on the road against the Waterloo Warriors and the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks on Nov. 10 and 11.

Photo by Aaron Hemens