By Michael Grace-Dacosta
The Ryerson men’s basketball mini two-game winning streak came to end at the Mattamy Athletic Centre (MAC) Friday. The University of Ottawa Gee-Gees defeated the Rams 70-63.
“It was a tough night. We didn’t play very well,” Rams head coach Roy Rana said. “It’s disappointing but the reality is we still have a long season ahead of us.”
Point guard, Jahmal Jones, led the Rams with 12 points but had a rough night offensively. He made three of 10 three-point shots and four turnovers. Shooting guard, Aaron Best, added 10 points for the Rams, but also struggled to find his shot as he made four of 10 from the field.
For the Gee-Gees, Terry Thomas led with 17 points and seven boards. He scored all their points in the first quarter.
“He’s very good going to the basket,” Rana said. “He gets them a lot of second chances. He’s a very, very important piece for them.”
The Rams started the game on an 11-3 run but Ottawa clawed their way back into the game with a 10-1 run of their own. The game rocked back and forth for the rest of the half, which ended with in a slim lead for the Rams.
In the second half the Gee-Gees used a 6-1 run by point guard Michael L’Africain to take the lead and never looked back.
This is the second time in two weeks the Gee-Gees have defeated the Rams. When the two teams played in Ottawa the Rams gave up 90 points to the Gee-Gees. But this time the Rams held off the Gee-Gees’ offense — which is second in the CIS scoring with 93 points per game.
The Rams shot just 35 per cent from the field.
“I thought we forced [some shots] but we missed… some layups, and we didn’t shoot free throws very well,” Rana said. “It’s a make or miss game and tonight we just didn’t make them.”
Rams Bjorn Michaelsen played for the first time in 2014 — but he didn’t start and only played eight minutes of the game. Rana said that Bjorn still isn’t fully healthy. Rana also said Jordan Gauthier is not 100 per cent yet either. This was the first game all season the Rams had a full squad — with the exception of Ostap Choliy.
“Tonight was the first night we had our full roster so maybe that was a bit of an adjustment,” Rana said. “We’ve got to try and come together in the next six games and get ready for playoffs.”
The Rams will play against the top ranked Carleton University Ravens Saturday night at the MAC.
“We’re going to have to show some [resilience] going against number one tomorrow,” Rana said. ”We can put our heads down or we can fight.”