TORONTO – Aaron Best was at his finest scoring a game-high 28 points on 11-for-16 from the field, while grabbing eight rebounds to lead the No. 1 Ryerson Rams to a 104-79 victory over the No. 4 Brock Badgers at a raucous Coca-Cola Court on Wednesday night.
It was one of the biggest crowds in the history of Ryerson basketball, as three fan buses made the trip from St.Catharines and the Badger fans filled the west side bleachers. Not to be out done by the Rams fans, who absolutely jam-packed the east side of the gym after the #ProtectTheMac movement took over the internet this week.
The Rams played with unrelenting energy from the opening tip, due in large part to JV Mukama, inserted into the starting lineup for the first time since the calendar turned. Mukama rose to the occasion with his best game of the year scoring 20 points and grabbing 11 rebounds, his performance highlighted by a block in which he grabbed the ball, went coast-to-coast and finished it off with a soaring slam at the other end.
"I usually come off the bench, bringing energy and anything the team needs, but for some reason at shootaround PT told me to be ready to start," said Mukama on his night as a starter. "I knew Brock was going to be coming out swinging since we're number one and they beat us earlier during preseason. I made sure I started aggressive to not give them any hope and fortunately for us it worked in our benefit."
After a back and forth first quarter, Ryerson absolutely dominated the second frame, as the entire 10 minutes were a 21-4 Rams run. They controlled the defensive glass, which was a team focus, and they shut down the rest of the Badgers roster outside of Dani Elgadi.
Elgadi was his usual beast-mode self, posting a line of 27 points, 13 rebounds, four assists and three steals but his supporting cast was far from their usual selves. Johneil Simpson was held to 11 points on 4-for-14 and Ryan Bennett also topped out at 11 points on 4-for-15 from the floor.
Following a Brock run to open up the third quarter, the momentum swung back as Best soared for a spectacular alley oop feed from his backcourt mate Adika Peter-McNeilly.
There were a few late charges made by the Badgers, but the Rams answered each of them and coach Tatham was able to empty the bench and put an exclamation point on the win with three balls from Theo Demeke and Andy Agyepong.
The Rams (11-1) return to the court on Friday as they play host to the Laurier Golden Hawks (6-7).
Source: Ryerson Rams