By Sean Fitz-Gerald
Maybe the Ryerson men’s basketball team felt sorry for the Concordia Stingers. Maybe the Rams wanted to cheer the Stingers up after watching their football team lose the Vanier Cup. Or maybe it was the way the Ryerson women’s basketball team beat up the Stingers.
Whatever their motives were, the Rams were gracious hosts last Saturday night as they let Concordia walk over them in a 92-81 loss at Kerr Hall gym.
“I’m pretty pissed off right now,” Rams captain Brian Smith said. “We didn’t focus for 40 minutes.”
Like they have all season, the Rams played well in spurts. They made crisp passes and worked the ball until a good scoring opportunity came around. And, like they have all season, the Rams also played poor, unfocused, and careless basketball for parts of the match.
“There’s not much you can do,” Smith said. “You can just keep telling them to focus, but if they don’t do it, they don’t do it.”
In their defence, Ryerson did have several key injuries. Rookie guard Ben Gorham couldn’t play because he was up all Friday night with the flu. Jan Michael Nation played, but hurt his leg in the second half, and centre Sasha Ivankovic’s pre-season ankle injury still hasn’t completely healed.
“It [the ankle] just doesn’t move as much as I want it to,” said Invankovic. “I can’t perform as much as I want for the team.”
Adding to Ryerson’s frustration was the fact they lost to a tired Stingers team who feel to Queen’s 73-71 in Kingston the previous night.
The Stingers took a five-and-a-half-hour bus ride to Toronto and spent the day watching their schoolmates lose the Vanier Cup.
Rams head coach Terry Haggerty said he was disappointed with the loss, but he thought the Rams played well in spite of all the injuries.
“We’ll have games like this all year,” he said. “There’s not going to be a hell of a lot of difference between winning and losing.”
The Rams have about a month to rest. League play doesn’t start again until mid-January when Ryerson heads out to the nation’s capital to play Carleton and Ottawa.