Ravens among the final four of U Sports basketball championship

HALIFAX — Aiden Warnholtz had a game-high 29 points and the defending champion Carleton Ravens held on for a 73-71 win over the UQAM Citadins on the opening day of the U Sports men's Final 8 basketball championship.

The Citadins had their chances at the end of the game to send the perennial powerhouse packing, but couldn't pull off the upset.

Bahide Haidara stole the ball with 22 seconds remaining to set up Kevin Civil for a three-pointer that missed.

Haidara then missed on an attempt from long-range with four seconds left. Civil got an offensive rebound, but his missed his three-point attempt at the final buzzer.

The Ravens, who are seeking their fourth straight national title and 17th overall, entered the tournament as the third seed after losing the Ontario University Athletics final to the rival Ottawa Gee-Gees.

UQAM, winner of the RESQ conference, entered as the sixth seed.

Warnholtz added six an assists and a steal and was 4-of-8 from three.

Grant Shephard added 18 points, eight rebounds and two blocks for Carleton

Civil led the Citadins with 19 points, while Elie Karojo added 18.

Carleton will face the second-ranked Gee-Gees in Saturday's semifinals. Ottawa had little trouble moving on with a 91-70 win over No. 7 Winnipeg.

Guillaume Pépin had a game-high 22 points for the Gee-Gees, with Kevin Otoo and Cole Newton adding 15 apiece.

Mikhail Mikhailov paced Winnipeg with 20 points and 10 rebounds.

Ottawa took control of the game early with a 23-11 first quarter, ending the frame with a 13-2 run.

Fourth-ranked St. Francis Xavier X-Men grabbed a 65-35 lead at the half then cruised to a 107-98 victory over the fifth-ranked Queen's Gaels.

Defensive player of the year David Muenkat led the X-Men with 27 points, while Deon Ejim added 19.

Cole Syllas led Queen's with 18 points and Brandon Aultman chipped in with 17.

The Gaels outscored the X-Men 39-28 in the final quarter but couldn't close the gap.

In the final game of the night, the top-seeded Victoria Vikes squeaked past the University of Prince Edward Island Panthers 93-92.

Diego Maffia, the player of the year in Canada West, scored 40 points for Victoria, while Izzy Helman added 15.

Kamari Scott led the Panthers with 32, while Elijah Miller added 24.

The Vikes led 53-47 at the half and the game stayed close right to the final buzzer.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 10, 2023.

The Canadian Press