Carleton basketball reaches new level of dominance not seen in 38 years
Same school won national men's, women's titles for the 1st time since 1985
Even with all the success of the Carleton Ravens basketball program this century, there was still history to be made this past weekend.
Playing at the same time in the same province, the Ravens men's and women's teams each won their respective national championships on Sunday.
For the men's team, this was its 17th national championship and the second for the women.
Together, it's the first time a Canadian university has lifted both trophies in the same season since 1985. Only two other schools have done it.
"Because [the men] went into double overtime … we were able to put it on our phones and got to celebrate their victory," said women's head coach Dani Sinclair on CBC Radio's All In A Day.
The men's game was in Halifax while the women were about 400 kilometres away at Cape Breton University in Sydney, N.S.
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Sinclair, who now has a title as coach along with a win as a player in 2003, credited the team for tightening up its defence in the second half against Queen's: they gave up 31 points in the first half, then only seven in the third quarter.
"[Queen's] is definitely a rival, they finished first in our division and were number one in the country for most of the year. It was a hard-fought game and it was expected to be," she said.
"We've faced them four times now … It's hard to beat a team three times in a row and Queen's is a very aggressive and tough team," said guard Kali Pocrnic, whose 20 points in the final helped her win the tournament MVP award.
She and men's team guard Connor Vreeken each discussed their second-half improvements on CBC Radio's Ottawa Morning Tuesday — the men's team trailed St. FX by as many as 23 points late in the first half.
"The message has always been 'Take it one possession at a time,' so we went into halftime, that's what the three or four older guys were saying and we tried to do that," Vreeken said.
"Then midway through the third quarter that deficit was gone."
Carleton and Queen's were joined on the podium by the University of Ottawa men, who earned bronze after losing to Carleton in the semi-final. The Queen's men's team finished sixth in the country.
"The basketball in this part of the country is at a high level and it's one of the reasons why I wanted to come be a part of it," Sinclair said.
With files from CBC Radio's All In A Day and Ottawa Morning