Carleton's offence gets a lot of press, but their defence was even more impressive today. One of the highlights of the game was the way they shut down UBC's Chris Dyck in the second half; he had 17 points in the first half but only finished with 21. The top defensive effort came from Rob Saunders, not surprising that he picked up the CIS defensive player of the year award earlier this week.
If offence wins games and defence wins championships, Saunders excels on both fronts. He poured in 18 points on five-of-nine shooting today, added four rebounds and was consistently strong defensively. For his efforts, he was named Carleton's player of the game. Nice to see that, as strong defensive efforts often go unrewarded.
It was Saunders' final championship with the Ravens and his fourth in five years. He said the program meant everything to him.
"It was the right decision for me to come here," he said. "Just the people I've been around are unbelievable."
Saunders said this win was extra special for him and the other fifth-year seniors from Kingston, Aaron Doornekamp and Stu Turnbull.
"As seniors, that's a big reason why we put the effort that we did for the program and the people that brought us in," he said. "The four seniors last year, they didn't get their national championship. They were some of my best friends and watching that was terrible. We wanted to go out there and get this win."
Saunders said the loss last season motivated this year's group all year.
"We really wanted it this year," he said. "We wanted to make up for last year."
Saunders said team chemistry was a big factor in the win.
"Everyone gets along really well," he said. "Dave recruits quality guys."
Saunders said he felt grateful for his time at Carleton and his involvement with such a team.
"It's a pleasure to be a part of," he said.
Saunders left it all on the court today. When queried about his plans for the evening, he responded, "I'm going to sleep."