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The Scrubbs push Carleton into CIS hoops final

Carleton University Ravens Philip Scrubb, left, battles University of the Fraser Valley Cascades Jordan Blackman in CIS Final 8 men's semi-final basketball action in Halifax on Saturday, March 10, 2012. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan

Andrew Vaughan/The Canadian Press

Brothers Philip and Thomas Scrubb of Richmond, B.C., combined for 34 points to power the Carleton Ravens offence as the defending national champions defeated the Fraser Valley Cascades 83-65 in a CIS men's basketball semi-final Saturday night.

Guard Philip Scrubb had 18 points and forward Thomas Scrubb scored 16 for the top-ranked Ravens. Willy Manigat of Ottawa added 15 points as Carleton remained undefeated this season.

The victory puts Carleton in position to win the school's eighth national title since 2003, ahead of Sunday's championship showdown against the No. 2 Alberta Golden Bears who defeated St. Francis Xavier.

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Joel Friesen of Abbotsford, B.C., had 13 points to lead the Cascades and Kyle Grewal of Surrey, B.C., contributed 11 points.

No. 5 Fraser Valley will play for the bronze medal against either Alberta or St. FX.

The Cascades tested the tournament favourites, keeping the score close through almost three quarters before the Ravens pulled away.

Both teams shot under 37 per cent in the first half as they struggled to find their offensive rhythm. Cole Hobin paced the Carleton defence with four steals and two blocks in the opening half to help the Ravens take a 31-27 lead into the intermission.

"The defence kept us in the game," said Carleton coach Dave Smart. "We did a decent job defensively in keeping them off balance and gave ourselves a chance to stay in the game when we were struggling offensively."

Carleton dominated Fraser Valley in the final stages of the third quarter, increasing the margin to 16 points.

Daniel Ferguson scored 31 points to lift the Alberta to a 91-83 win over the X-Men in Saturday's other semi-final.

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Alberta, the tournament's second seed, earned a berth in Sunday's final against the top-ranked Carleton Ravens. Alberta is looking for its fourth national title and first since 2002.

Golden Bears coach Greg Francis praised Ferguson for his calm under pressure.

"He's been an incredible leader all year and he's been saving the best for last," said Francis. "He takes care of every huddle, he makes every play that we need and he leads these guys.

Ferguson also had six rebounds and said Alberta's ability to match the physical play of St. FX was a key at both ends of the floor.

"We kept going hard. We felt like we were bigger than them and stronger than them and over 40 minutes we didn't think they could keep that up," said Ferguson.

Jordan Baker scored 20 points and added nine rebounds and seven assists for the Golden Bears.

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Terry Thomas led No. 6 St. FX with 22 points and 10 rebounds. But the forward, who scored 39 points in a quarter-final win against Concordia, was held to 12 points after the first quarter.

"(Thomas) is a good player and he's sneaky," said Ferguson. "If he's not scoring the ball he's getting the offensive rebound.

"We just talked about communicating the whole game and knowing where guys were, whether it was Terry or anyone else who was a threat."

Alberta overcame a strong start by St. FX and built a 43-38 lead by halftime, led by Ferguson's 16 points.

The X-Men took the lead briefly in the third quarter but could not maintain it. Alberta led by seven heading into the final 10 minutes.

Consecutive three-pointers by Alberta forward Sahr Safa made it 76-66 with five minutes remaining and the Golden Bears were able to hold off St. FX the rest of the way.

Safa finished with 18 points.

"I thought Sahr stepped up in the third quarter and made some space and made some shots for us," said Francis.

The No. 7 Ryerson Rams and No. 8 Acadia Axemen each earned berths in Sunday's consolation final with victories earlier on Saturday.

Bjorn Michaelsen scored 25 points to lead the Rams past the third-seeded Concordia Stingers 84-80. It was Ryerson's first-ever win at the championship.

In the other consolation semi-final, Acadia forward Owen Klassen had 27 points and 15 rebounds as the Axemen defeated the Lakehead Thunderwolves 84-75.

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