By Kyle Edwards
The Ryerson Rams men’s basketball team capped off their weekend home stand with an 84-70 victory over the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks Saturday night at the Mattamy Athletic Centre.
Season point-highs from both Jahmal Jones and newcomer Kadeem Green helped the Rams get up early and sustain throughout the game in front of loud fans inside Coca-Cola Court.
“Any time we can get a win against them it’s a good one,” said Rams head coach Roy Rana, whose team shot 47 per cent from the field against the Golden Hawks.
The Rams (3-1) started strong, outscoring the Golden Hawks (2-2) 17-8 in the first quarter. But the Golden Hawks made a push in the second quarter to narrow the score to 36-30 in favour of the Rams going into halftime, outscoring the home team 22-19.
“We weren’t as active with our hands, we were turning it over and we were a little sloppy with the ball. It wasn’t really about what Laurier was doing, we just lost our focus and concentration in that second quarter,” said Rana.
The Rams came out with a lot of jump in the third quarter, highlighted by an acrobatic quarter-ending buzzer beater from fourth-year point guard Jones. But the Golden Hawks stayed close all game, the score 60-55 with eight minutes left in the fourth quarter. That was as close as they would get, as the Rams would break it open to finish the game with a final score of 84-70.
“I owe it to my teammates, last weekend I wasn’t really playing my best basketball,” said Jones, who finished the game with a team-high 22 points and five defensive rebounds.
The Rams received an excellent performance from newcomer Green, who spent the past two seasons south of the border in the NCAA Division 1.
“We picked it up towards the end and we started playing as a team,” said Green, who was nine for 18 from the field, finishing with 20 points and 14 rebounds. “Since I have a lot of experience in the United States, I have a lot more experience than a lot of guys on the team, I feel like I have to be a leader on and off the floor.”
Golden Hawks point guard Max Allin led his team with 17 points and eight rebounds. Golden Hawks head coach, Peter Campbell, praised the length and athleticism of the Rams.
“We didn’t shoot the ball very well all game and we have the ability to shoot the ball well, part of that probably is [the Rams] defensive presence,” said Campbell, whose Golden Hawks’ shot 33 per cent from the field.
With the mental breakdown in the second quarter a mild concern, Rana said he’s not sure if it’s a lesson for the team.
“You try to find lessons in everything, but it’s a long season. Next weekend will be a different lesson,” said Rana. “We just take the win and move on.”
The Ryerson Rams will try to continue home court supremacy as they take on the Windsor Lancers next Friday at the Mattamy Athletic Centre.