Women’s basketball won their sixth straight game at home 71-54 against the Carleton Ravens on Jan. 31 night, while the men’s team struggled in a loss to the Ravens 106-81.
The women's performance was highlighted by the return of former head coach Brian Cheng, who now sits as the interim head coach for Carleton University.
The Ravens opened the game with an early lead in the first quarter. The Mustangs, however, were not too far behind as they inched closer to a tied ball game. Mustangs’ Rachel Fradgley made a last-minute basket to lower the deficit to two points as the Ravens took the first frame 14-12.
By the midway point in the second quarter, the Mustangs gained their first lead of the night with Mustangs’ Emma Johnson putting two points up on the board for the Mustangs, making it 21-20 for the home team. The women’s team finished the frame with a 10-point lead at 35-25. The Mustangs were able to maintain the lead for the remainder of the game.
The third quarter featured more dominance from the Mustangs as they continued to capitalize on a frustrated Raven's defence. The team was able to increase their lead to 15 going into the fourth quarter of a solid game by the Mustangs offence.
Momentum from the Mustangs’ last two quarters continued in the final 10 minutes of the game. The team extended their lead to 20 with five minutes remaining as Johnson scored two more of her 14 points, erasing any hope that the Ravens had to knot the game back up.
When the final buzzer rang, the scoreboard reflected a game that was well controlled by the Mustangs' players and coaching staff. The women’s team continue their undefeated winning streak at home, ultimately improving to a 16-2 record before their game against the University of Ottawa Gee-Gees on Saturday evening at Alumni Hall.
The men’s basketball team was not as fortunate. The Mustangs finished a disappointing game with a 25-point loss to the Ravens.
The first quarter of the game saw early signs of hope for the Mustangs as the crowd roared when Omar Shiddo made the first three-pointer of the game, making it 3-2 for the Mustangs in the opening minutes. However, subsequent baskets from the Ravens foreshadowed this hope fading away quickly as they quickly started to maintain a strong lead. By the end of the first frame, the Ravens controlled the pace of play at 28-14.
More of the same story continued in the second quarter. The Mustangs continued to struggle on defence as the Ravens mounted an even tougher 18-point lead against the Mustangs at 53-35 before half-time. Mustangs' assistant coach Jake Lindley commented after the game on how the Mustangs rely on their defence, especially their guards, when they are in tense situations.
“Our defence has to stay strong for the whole game, not just in a couple of quarters,” said Lindley. “We really lean on that core group of guards in those types of situations.”
As the second half ensued, the Ravens used their momentum of solid play to their advantage. Carleton consistently added to Western's deficit for the remaining two quarters of the game, as the Ravens led the Mustangs by 23 and 25 points respectively, leading to the eventual 106-81 defeat.
Western's fifth year guard Nikola Farkic spoke about the team’s inefficiencies against a high-powered Carleton team.
“[Carleton is] the number one offensive team and the number one defensive team in the country, so when you play teams like that, you can’t make mistakes,” said Farkic. “We got a lot of turnovers to begin with and we didn’t defensive rebound well enough and that kind of hurt us.”
The loss dropped the men’s squad to 13-5 on the season ahead of their game against the Gee-gee’s on Saturday evening.