By Sean Fitz-Gerald
At another other point in any other season, a Ryerson men’s basketball win over the University of Toronto Varsity Blues would be the big news of the week. But this year doesn’t seem like just any other for the Rams.
The fact that Ryerson beat U of T 68-64 on the Blues’ court last Sunday is just a small part of the big picture.
The Rams, who were 3-4 less than a month ago, are now on a four game winning streak and are only two points behind the second-place Carleton Ravens in the OUA East division.
The Rams also have two games in hand on Carleton, which means that they could be in second place by the end of this weekend.
“All we have to do is win the rest of the way and we have first place,” says Rams head coach Terry Haggerty. “We don’t need any help, we just have to take care of ourselves.”
After beating the Queen’s Golden Gaels 77-74 in Kingston last Friday, the Rams travelled back to Toronto and avenged their 75-68 November loss to U of T at home.
“They beat us in our gym, we knew we could take them,” says rookie guard Ben Gorham. “We knew they weren’t that strong.”
Ryerson’s errant passes and poor shot selection in the first half gave U of T a chance to get back into the game. Luckily for the Rams, the Blues were equal to the futile challenge and couldn’t capitalize on Ryerson’s miscues.
With the loss, U of T falls to 6-6 and into fifth place in the OUA East division.
“Hopefully they just drop off with Queen’s and York and we don’t have to worry about them,” says Rams centre Sasha Ivankovic, who finished with a team-high 16 points.
The Rams will play 0-13 Laval on Friday before testing their winning streak against Bishop’s on Saturday.
Bishop’s is in second place in the Quebec division with nine wins for 18 points. They beat Ryerson 92-72 in Bishop’s on Nov. 20.
“Bishop’s is revenge,” says Rams fourth-year guar Rob Armstrong. “They blew us out by 20 down there.”
Armstrong remembers what happened to Ryerson in their loss back in November.
“Fans were hollering, and pouring beer on us from the balcony, we’re looking forward to this [weekend]. It’s redemption,” he says.
Rams captain, Brian Smith, thinks that the team has learned from the mistakes it’s made against teams like Bishop’s.
“At this point, it’s not a matter of confidence for us, it’s just a matter of executing,” says Smith.
Gorham is looking forward to the game Sunday. “Bishop’s we got something for, when they come down here, we’ll play hard,” he says.