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A bittersweet victory for the Rams

Men’s basketball team beats Alumni, but Terry Haggerty is not happy

By Eli Shupak

You don’t often see a player in a jovial mood after his team loses a basketball game but Lui Cinelle had the time of his life last Saturday night.

The 6’2” guard returned as a member of the Ryerson Alumni team, after five outstanding seasons with the Rams. Despite Cinello’s 18 points, the Alumni squad came up short, losing 101-93 to the Rams. 

The mood wasn’t as cheery in the Rams’ dressing room following the game. Ryerson coach Terry Haggerty took some of his seniors aside and chastised them for what he and his coaching staff felt was a very poor effort.

“We weren’t happy with them (seniors),” said Haggerty, after the team’s first outing of the season. “We were not very disciplined on offence throughout a large stretch of the game and that’s something you expect the seniors to be able to control. They’re supposed to be the leaders out there.”

The Alumni gave the Rams all they could handle throughout the contest and led by as much as eight in the first half. The Rams went on a 22-6 run, closing out the half with a 54-46 lead.

Former Ryerson guard Phil Rowe joined the Alumni team at halftime, after attending a wedding, and helped keep the score close down the stretch. Cinello’s basket with less than three minutes to play tied the game at 89.

But Scott Belasco’s three-point play on the Rams’ next possession gave them a lead which they wouldn’t relinquish. Belasco led the team and all scorers that night with 24 points.

The rest of the scoring was equally distributed among the other 12 players who dressed for the game. Radcliffe Golbourne and Chris Szarka sat out, but Szarka’s presence was felt from the sidelines as he taunted Alumni players when they shot free throws.

“It’s going to be a much more balanced team than we’ve seen the last two years,” admitted Haggerty, who has added five new faces to this year’s squad. “I expect we’re going to be much better than what we showed (Saturday). But, right now there’s a lot of question marks on this team.”

Three-time OUAA East All-Star, Ainsworth Slowly, also returned for the Alumni game. Slowly, Ryerson’s 1992/93 Athlete of the Year, chipped in 17 points for the Alumni. His number, 44, along with Cinello’s, #25, and Alex Beason’s #45, were retired prior to the last regular season home game in Feburary.

Cinello, last year’s co-captain, said the Rams have the potential to return to the OUAA East Final for a third straight year.

“There’s a lot of new faces in there,” Cinello said. “Right now their fundamentals are lousy and some guys were slacking out there, but it’s early in the year. They have the talent, it’s just a matter of them playing together. “

The Rams meet their first CIAU opponents of the season when they travel to Laurier on Friday night. On Saturday, the Rams play in Windsor. The next home game is on Friday Oct. 27, when Ryerson hosts Laurier (Kerr Hall, 8 p.m.).

The women’s team was also victorious in their first action of the season defeating its Alumni 71-50. They host the Women’s Basketball Classic in Kerr Hall this weekend with Windsor, Brandon, McMaster, Concordia, Guelph, York, and Simon Fraser competing in the three-day event which tips off Friday.

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