By Michael Grace-Dacosta
Sam Dekker scored 18 points as the Wisconsin Badgers rattled the hometown Ryerson Rams 84- 61 Sunday night at the Mattamy Athletic Centre.
Jordan Gauthier led the way for the Rams, scoring a game-high 24 points which included four three-pointers. Bjorn Michaelsen had a game-high eight rebounds and two blocks against the NCAA opponent
“We played a very, very strong team and we got to take some positives from this. Our young guys got some great experience tonight. We didn’t quit; we kept fighting which is a good sign,” said Rams head coach Roy Rana.
Despite outscoring the Badgers by eight in the fourth quarter, the Rams — who were without former OUA first-team all-stars Jahmal Jones and Aaron Best — let the game slip away in the first half, shooting a paltry 28 per cent in the first half, while allowing the Badgers to shoot 43 per cent in that span. Wisconsin dominated in all aspects, finishing the night with a significant advantage in rebounds (40- 30), field goal percentage (43 to 34 per cent) and turnovers (11- 18).
Meanwhile, five Rams’ had six or more points, including new recruit Adika Peter-McNeilly, who put up nine points and five rebounds in 34 minutes.
“I played alright, [but] my shots weren’t really falling,” said Peter-McNeilly, who was just 4 for 16.
“I’m adjusting to playing point guard because Jones wasn’t playing. That’s a big difference because I’m usually playing on the wing.”
Jean-Victor Mukama, Adam Voll and Nabil Ibrahim also made their Rams debut in the loss.