Kingston, ON – The Carleton Ravens have captured the OUA women’s basketball championship with a 70-57 win in Kingston over the Queen’s Gaels in the Critelli Cup. Thanks to big time games from their stars, the Carleton Ravens went into the Queen’s ARC and took home the banner and head to the U SPORTS Final 8 as the OUA champs.
The big time performances started with Jacqueline Urban on the boards, continued with Kali Pocrnic all over the floor and ended with a mixture of everybody to seal the win and their championship dreams. Jacqueline, the OUA rookie of the year, set the tone inside alongside her front court duo Emma Kiesekamp, and her rebounding took away many Gaels second chances and got the fast-paced Ravens offence out and running the other way. Jacqueline finished with 11 rebounds while Emma finished with 11, and that pairing inside was difficult for the Gaels to deal with, and vital for the Ravens 13 offensive rebounds and 10 second chance points.
On the offensive side, look no further than Kali Pocrnic. The All-Star was everywhere on the floor, and her quickness and energy paced the Ravens play throughout the game. While the Gaels and Ravens traded baskets throughout the first half, Kali’s nine points in the third quarter helped Carleton jump out to a significant lead and her execution throughout the fourth quarter kept them ahead. Kali finished with 23 points and four assists playing 35 minutes, and her impact was felt in all aspects of the Ravens win.
On the side of the Gaels, throughout the first half as they traded leads with the Ravens back and forth, it was the play of Emma Weltz and Julia Chadwick that set the pace. Julia finished the game with a double-double and her efforts on the glass helped Queen’s maintain some presence in the paint against the Carleton forwards. As Carleton was pushing away in the second half and fully utilizing their size inside, Queen’s looked to the perimeter and they found their contributor in Laura Donovan who shot four of eight from the perimeter including a couple big threes late in the game to keep the Gaels within striking distance.
In a game that was dominated by defence in the first half and offence in the second half, it was the Ravens who found their second gear going into the third quarter and they pushed away and never looked back. Now headed to nationals, the Ravens will have confidence and a banner on their back looking for another, while the Gaels will focus their attention on getting the championship and coming away with some hardware to end their great season.