Mike Smart scored 17 while brother Rob sat... while the Carleton women (white) upset the Rams.

Photos: Lora Markova

Rams fizzle under television spotlight

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Carleton teams take out Rams in televised games

By Noah Love

They say the camera adds fifteen pounds. It may as well have been a hundred for the men’s basketball team, who were just plain destroyed by the Carleton University Ravens 85-58 in a game broadcast by Rogers Cable.

On Saturday, Ryerson players were outrun, out-shot and out-defended by Carleton’s team of OUA and Canadian all-stars.

The 27-point loss came on the heels of a 75-58 victory over the Ottawa University Gee Gees on Friday night.

“Against Ottawa I think we played a good half of basketball,” said head coach Terry Haggerty of his team’s blow-out against Ottawa. “Against Carleton we played about six minutes. We showed our ‘C’ game.”

Carleton read the Rams offense like an open book. Jan-Michael Nation, Errol Fraser and Jon Reid, the only players with more than two points in the first half, were double-teamed on every possession. This made it nearly impossible for Ryerson to create scoring opportunities.

The Ravens played an aggressive game, picking up 31 fouls. All-Canadian guard Rob Smart picked up three in the first half and had to sit out much of the opening 20 minutes.

But the Rams responded with their worst free-throw performance in years, hitting an abysmal 16 of 41 from the free throw line.

“We missed a ridiculous number of free throws,” Haggerty said. “When a player like Rob Smart gets in foul trouble early and we can’t take advantage, that’s disappointing.”

Ryerson will be featured in two more televised games before the playoffs. The game against the Ravens was the only game in which the Rams could be considered the underdog. The other two games are against Royal Military College (1-8) and Ottawa (4-6). Ryerson has beaten both teams this season.

“The television exposure is nice, but you don’t want to play a game like [the one against Carleton] in front of a TV audience,” said Haggerty. “They’re more developed than us. It was their game to win, but you hate to get blown out.”

The Rams are 6-4 after the two weekend games. They are in third place, behind York University (8-3) and division-leading Carleton (9-1). York may be in trouble with the departure of OUA all-star guard Mike George.

“We think we can catch up to them by the end of the season,” said Haggerty.

George has always raised his level of play against the Rams, and has been at the centre of player fights between the two teams on and off the court. The Rams beat the Yeomen in the bronze medal game of the Ed DeArmon tournament over the holidays. George was not in the lineup.

“He had work, school, and he’s getting married,” Haggerty said. “Something had to give. It really hurts them at the guard position.”

Ryerson plays at the University of Toronto on Friday night and then at Queen’s University on Sunday afternoon. The game begins at noon.

The women’s team surprised a lot of people by going 5-3 in the first half of the season. But their play against Ottawa’s lacklustre teams showed they may be in trouble.

On Friday, they barely pulled out a 46-45 victory over winless Ottawa. Teaka Grizzle broke a 45-45 tie with the second of two free throws in the final minute.

The next night, however, they couldn’t stop underdog Carleton. The 2-6 Ravens pulled off a 61-56 upset and dropped Ryerson to third place, behind the Toronto Varsity Blues (7-3) and the unbeaten Laurentian University Voyageurs (10-0).

The Rams appear to be on the limp. Head coach Sandra Pothier’s bench is having trouble giving the starters relief. Guard Miryana Golubovich played only a minute and Jodie Collins, who played with a limp, only went in for three.

That leaves Pothier with eight usable players. A short bench could certainly factor in the team’s weekend games at Toronto and Queen’s. Ryerson beat both in one weekend in November, but may be pressed to repeat at this point in the season. Both teams are above .500 and could move Ryerson into fourth place with weekend victories.

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