By Gavin Mackenzie
An Eyeopener article sparked a fiery anger in the Concordia Stingers men’s basketball team that Ryerson couldn’t extinguish Friday night, halting the Rams’ 17-game winning streak.
As Concordia players leafed through last week’s’ sports section, they were appalled by a quote from Ryerson forward Bill Crowdis. He said the Rams owed Concordia a “really good ass-kicking,” as revenge for a loss earlier this season.
But the Stingers had the last word as they squeaked out a 78-76 win in front of a packed Kerr gym.
“[The quote] had something to do with the way we came out [Friday],” said Concordia point guard Mark Spence. “We were really annoyed by it and it motivated us.”
Ryerson started the game off slowly and trailed by 11 at one point in the first half. Near the end of the first half the Rams got back on the track, cutting Concordia’s lead to two.
The second half saw the lead switch hands several times, and on three occasions the game was tied.
Then, with nine seconds left and Ryerson down by two, Crowdis inbound a ball to Sam Gilbert who drove towards the net. He passed the ball to Jan-Michael Nation who was wide open after coming off a screen. However, Nation’s 18-foot baseline jump-shot clanked off the rim as time expired, and the joyous Concordia bench emptied onto the court.
“I think we were getting a little overconfident with the winning streak and this is a reality check,” said Nation, who led the Rams in scoring with 19 points. “We just didn’t hit the key shots when we had to. It’s disappointing but we can’t dwell on it. We have to move on.”
The Rams regained their composure when they hosted the McGill Redmen the following night.
Ryerson gave the Redmen a lesson in offensive execution as 12 different Rams hit the score sheet. They coasted to a 91-64 win. Crowdis and Nation led the Rams’ scoring with 16 points each.
The Rams’ overall record is now 27-4, they are 15-2 in conference play, and are the fourth ranked team in Canada.
Next weekend Ryerson has a huge challenge as they head to Sudbury to take on the Laurentian Voyageurs.
The Voyageurs are the second-place team in the OUA-East, six points behind Ryerson. Ryerson beat Laurentian by 13 earlier this year and Crowdis expects a similar result.
“We’re going to go in there and basically run them off the court,” he said. “We’re going to come strong and you will see the kind of score we had here tonight against McGill.”
Ryerson’s women’s basketball team had a similar result last weekend. After a heartbreaking 76-63 loss to Concordia on Friday they rebounded with an ass-kicking of McGill, 62-40. Mandi-May Bond led Ryerson in scoring with 22 points.