By Tagwa Moyo
The last time the Ryerson Rams men’s basketball team beat the Carleton Ravens was Jan. 22nd, 2000. To put that in perspective, Rams key player Adika Peter-McNeilly was in grade one putting up shots on a Fisher-Price net. Needless to say, this game meant a lot to the Rams.
The game was highly anticipated and heavily promoted for the White Out weekend, as the Rams host both Carleton Ravens, the second-ranked CIS team, as well as the Ottawa Gee-Gees.
With all the excitement and a full crowd packed in the Mattamy Athletic Centre the Rams came out and almost got run out of their own court. The Ravens started the game firing on all cylinders taking an early 14-2 lead on the Rams.
A combination of missed shots and sloppy turnovers forced coach Tatham to turn to his bench to try and turn the game around, bringing in third year JV Mukama and Filip Vujadinovic. Both Mukama and Vujadinovic made an instant impact on the game.
“ He’s [Mukama] a secret weapon off the bench with his length which is almost unheard of in the OUA,” said coach Tatham when talking about the important role Mukama plays on the team.
Following the early substitution the Rams were able to climb back into the game and after the first quarter bring the team back within six points of the Ravens.
The Rams were able to continue their momentum from the end of the first quarter into the second quarter largely thanks to Vujadinovic who went beast mode in the quarter. Vujadinovic splashed two three’s back to back to start the second quarter and played aggressively on the defensive end, outscoring the Ravens 19-10 heading into halftime.
The Rams started the second half the same way they ended the first half and that was with intense defence causing turnovers and easy fast break opportunities for themselves. The Rams managed to hold the Ravens to just 11 points in the third quarter and continue to build momentum and more importantly a lead.
Going into the final quarter of play the Rams had a 14 point advantage and continued their relentless defensive pressure leading to three fast break layups for Roshane Roberts solidifying the Rams win against the Ravens.
Although the team managed to get away with the win the Ravens did manage to slow down Rams all-star Adika Peter-McNeilly as he only score three points the entire game. That being said, although McNeilly did not make his mark in the scores column, he played a large role in facilitating and finding open teammates.
Even though this win was a long time coming, the Rams will not spend too much time celebrating as they prepare to face the highest-ranked team in Canada, the Ottawa Gee-Gee’s, in a double header tomorrow at 8 p.m.