TORONTO - "We had a plan coming into the week, like, 'hey we're going to get two wins and we're going to be number one on Monday.'"
That was head coach Patrick Tatham following his team's 79-61 victory over the Ravens, 16 years to the day of the program's last win against Carleton.
Manny Diressa led the way for the Rams, breaking out of his two game shooting slump to the tune of 21 points, including 5/7 from three point range and knocking down four of his five free throws.
"I had more looks, and just sort of got more comfortable and was able to shoot myself out of the slump," said Diressa.
It was a disastrous start for the Rams as they found themselves down 14-2 early in the first following a spree of missed shots leading to easy looks for Kaza Kajami-Keane and Guillaume Boucard.
Looking for an answer Tatham went to the bench bringing in JV Mukama and Filip Vujadinovic who ratcheted up the defensive energy and forced some Raven turnovers to settle things down.
"JV has so much length, it's almost unheard of in the OUA. He's a secret weapon off the bench and then we can bring in the toughness with Fil, we're just gonna claw back into the game and it worked out great," said Tatham on the boost of the bench.
A Diressa three ball to end the quarter cut the deficit to six, and the second quarter began with the Ravens up 19-13.
Vujadinovic proceeded to hit consecutive threes to open up the second quarter and from there the Rams caught fire from beyond the arc going 4/5 in the period, and outscoring the Ravens 19-10 going into the half.
The Rams kept the pressure on in the third, limiting the Ravens to just 11 points in the quarter and completely taking their stars out of the game. Kajami-Keane finished the night 3/13 from the field for just seven points, while Boucard didn't fair any better going 2/10 from the floor and 4/8 from the free throw line for just 9 points.
Diressa and Aaron Best shouldered the scoring load in the quarter, taking turns knocking down off balance threes over scrambling Raven defenders. Best finished the night with 12 points and two rebounds.
The Rams entered the fourth quarter with a 54-40 lead, and kept the gas pedal down to finish the game off.
Adika Peter-McNeilly only scored three points, but was huge down the stretch, quarterbacking the offence and making plays on the defensive end that led to easy looks for his teammates.
"I knew my shot wasn't going in, but I still knew they were gonna focus on me on offence so I knew if I could create shots and open looks for my teammates we were gonna be good," said Peter-McNeilly on controlling the game without scoring.
Three straight Roshane Roberts layups off of turnovers as well as threes from Peter-McNeilly and Diressa were the daggers that sealed the game for Ryerson, as Tatham was able to empty the bench in the final two minutes to the delight of the standing room only crowd and cruise to the 79-61 final.
On Saturday night the Rams will have a chance to knock off the Ottawa Gee-Gees and rise to the No. 1 team in Canada for the first time in history. Tipoff is set for 8:00 p.m. but fans should get there early if they want a seat at the Mattamy Athletic Centre.
Source: Ryerson Rams
The University of Toronto Varsity Blues men's basketball team dropped an 87-61 decision to the No. 1 nationally ranked Ottawa Gee-Gees on Friday night (January 22) at Goldring Centre for High Performance Sport.
With the loss, the Blues fall to 3-5 and sit third in the OUA East division, while the Gee-Gees improve to 9-0 and sit atop the North division.
Rookie guard Wilson Torres notched a season-high 15 points, going 6-for-9 from the floor, while adding three rebounds. OUA leading scorer Devin Johnson also had 15 points, and was 7-for-8 from the free throw line, while adding a team-high seven boards on the night.
Sophomore guard Sage Usher had 10 points, two assists and two steals, while veteran forward Manny Sahota recorded eight points in the loss.
Fifth-year guard Michael L'Africain led the Gee-Gees with 15 points and nine assists, with Nathan McCarthy adding 14 points and seven rebounds. Brody Maracle notchd 12 points in the victory.
The Varsity Blues are back in action tomorrow night (Jan. 23) when they host the No. 2 Carleton Ravens at Goldring Centre. Tip off is set for 8 p.m.
Source: Toronto Varsity Blues
The Nipissing Lakers men's basketball team's game Friday night can be summed up in one word; heartbreak.
The Lakers played a very strong game, one of their most complete of the season, held a big lead at half-time and led for a large chunk of the game, but came up short.
In the end – the second half – the Laurier Golden Hawks outscored the Lakers 40-30 on their way to the slimmest of wins, 73-72 over Nipissing.
Laurier came out of the gates strong, building up a 23-18 lead despite the teams going back and forth all quarter with no team holding a lead bigger than five points.
Down five in the second quarter, Nipissing came out flying, putting up their biggest period of the game – maybe of the season – scoring 24 points and grabbing the lead heading into half-time.
Thanks to their big second, Nipissing turned the tables and ended the opening 20 minutes up 42-33 and were in great shape.
The teams once again traded baskets in the third, with the Hawks closing the gap by outscoring Nipissing 27-22, which put them within striking distance heading into the final quarter.
Up four points – 64-60 – with 10 minutes to play, Laurier picked up their defensive play and totally shutdown the Lakers, holding them to just eight points the entire quarter.
Their offence wasn't exactly on fire, as they only scored 13 points, but the five point swing was enough to give the Hawks the victory.
Laurier scored the final six points of the game to squeeze out the win and end the Lakers two game win-streak and snap their own four game slide at the time.
Marcus Lewis led the team with 17 points, Jordon Campbell had a big night, scoring 16 points and adding 10 rebounds. Kalil Langston had a double-double as well, putting up 11 points and 14 boards and Marvin Ngonadi scored 12 points.
The Lakers will look to bounce back from a tough defeat Friday, as they prepare to host the Waterloo Warriors Saturday.
Waterloo lost to Laurentian Friday to drop to 1-9 on the season.
Game time is set for 8 p.m. at the RJS Athletic Centre.
Source: Nipissing Lakers
Like in many of their games this season the Voyageurs got off to a slow start. Fortunately, the Waterloo Warriors mirrored Laurentian's start. Both teams had turnover trouble early, however neither capitalized on their adversaries' mistakes. The Warriors owned the paint, while the Voyageurs controlled the perimeter.
In the 2nd quarter, Theo Thomas jumped started LU's return to form by knocking down two early shots off of turnovers and the team responded by taking advantage of the sloppy play of Waterloo. Sam Hirst, David Aromolaran and Nick Simon helped Laurentian to a 45-28 halftime lead.
While the 3rd quarter was much of the same from both squads, leading Laurentian to take a 12 point lead into the 4th, Waterloo mounted a solid comeback effort in the final frame. Led by Dylan Phillips, the Warriors managed to cut the Voyageur lead to three. But the Voyageurs' ultimately held on and grabbed their first win of 2016.
The Voyageurs are back in action tomorrow at the Ben Avery Gym to take on the Laurier Golden Hawks (5-5).
Source: Laurentian Voyageurs