By Charles Vanegas
The Ryerson men’s basketball team opened up the playoffs with an 83-77 win over the York Lions on Wednesday night at the Mattamy Athletic Centre.
After heading into halftime tied at 36, the Rams were able to take control of the game down the stretch, winning the battle of turnovers (17 to 22) and getting points at the free throw line (22 compared to York’s 13).
“We talked about this all week — we’ve got to come out hard in the beginning of the game [and] in the second half as well. We need to set the tempo,” said guard Yannick Walcott. “Lately we’ve been coming out of the first half slow — we’re either playing catch-up or letting teams hang around. This was just us saying ‘let’s go get it.’”
Rams point guard Jahmal Jones put on a huge performance, leading the team with 26 points after shooting 8 for 12.
“[Jahmal was] spectacular,” said Rams head coach Roy Rana. “He’s had some struggles as of late and tonight he showed everybody in the league why he’s one of the best players in the [OUA].”
“I just owed it to my team,” said Jones, who scored 15 of his 26 points in the second half. “They just told me to be who I am, and I had a big game.”
After splitting the season series, the Rams head to the University of Ottawa to face the Gee-Gees on Saturday in their second-round matchup. The winner will advance to the OUA Wilson Cup Final Four, held at the MAC on Mar. 1-2.
“Last year, they came here. Now we have to go there,” Rana said. “[But] you’ve got to win those games whether you’re on the road or at home.”