HALIFAX — For the first time in eight years there will be a new champion in U Sports men’s basketball.
Manny Diressa scored a game-high 28 points as the No. 5 Ryerson Rams knocked off the seven-time defending champion Carleton Ravens 84-76 on Saturday in semifinal action.
No. 1 Carleton entered the national championship tournament with a 23-0 record in Ontario University Athletics, and beat Ryerson in the OUA finals for the conference championship.
"We played hard, but Manny (Diressa) was too good," said Ravens head coach Dave Smart. "We played really hard, but you have to give (Ryerson) credit. They’re a veteran team and they played like it."
The Ravens had won 13 of the past 15 national titles dating back to 2002-03 season, with the Saskatchewan Huskies (2009-10) and Brock Badgers (2007-08) being the only other school programs to win the W.P. McGee Trophy.
Ryerson will face No. 2 Calgary on Sunday in the championship after the Dinos downed the No. 3 McGill Redmen 65-43 in the other semifinal.
The two Ontario programs went into halftime tied 36-36, but Ryerson came out hot and shot 66 per cent from the field in the third quarter to pull ahead by seven. The Rams also made the Ravens pay from the free-throw line, going 20 for 23.
Myles Charvis added 15 points for the Rams while Jean-Victor Mukama and Adam Voll had 10 points apiece. Yasiin Joseph led the Ravens with 20 points.
Calgary used a well-balanced offence to get past McGill, with David Kapinga leading the way with 19 points. Mambi Diawara and Connor Foreman added 15 points each as the Dinos took a 10-point lead into the break.
Alex Paquin led the Redemen with 10 points.
Dukate leads Saskatchewan over Regina, will face No. 1 Carleton in finals
REGINA — Sabine Dukate led the way with 20 points and Libby Epoch hit a three with 1:10 left on the clock as the No. 6 Saskatchewan Huskies beat the No. 2 Regina Cougars 74-71 on Saturday in the U Sports women’s basketball semifnals.
Dukate went 5-of-11 from beyond the arc while Megan Lindquist chipped in 15 points by going 4 for 7 from the three-point line. Epoch finished with 13 points.
Saskatchewan, the 2016 national women’s champions, went 14 for 28 from the three-point line to make up for its 26 turnovers and earn its way into the title game.
"It was our three-point shooting, that was huge for us," said Huskies head coach Lisa Thomaidis.
"We’ve been struggling the last few weeks. We led the country in three-point shooting percentage and then when we went in to playoffs, we just went ice cold. It was great timing for it to come back. I thought we were going to give it away with our turnovers we just couldn’t secure the ball and Regina’s pressure really got to us. We managed to sneak it out."
Regina’s Kyanna Giles led all scorers with 27 points.
The Huskies will meet the No. 1 Carleton Ravens on Sunday in the championship.
Elizabeth Leblanc scored 13 points and added seven rebounds as the top-ranked Ravens edged the defending champion McGill Martlets 46-44 in Saturday’s other semifinal.
McGill, which won its first national title in 2017 and entered this year’s tournament as the No. 4 seed, held a 42-35 lead after three quarters, but scored only two points in the fourth as Carleton pulled away for the victory.
Martlets guard Geraldine Cabillo-Abante had a game-high 16 points.
Both teams shot below 24 per cent.
The Cougars downed Saskatchewan 75-55 for the Canada West championship on March 2.