By Adriel Smiley
The Ryerson Rams found themselves in trouble at times, but in the end they got the job done, holding off a last minute comeback to take a 88-83 win in overtime against the Waterloo Warriors Friday night.
Rams forward Jean-Victor Mukama and rookie Tanor Ngom paced the Rams throughout the 40-minute contest—combining for 33 points on 13-19 shooting from the field and 18 rebounds. After three strong quarters, the Rams headed into the fourth quarter with a 67-55 lead, but Waterloo stormed back – outscoring the Rams 20-8 to send the game into overtime.
Ryerson showed their talent and experience in OT, using a slow-paced offence to separate themselves. Back-to-back step back three point baskets from guard Myles Charvis and Mukama gave the Rams a four-point lead with 11 seconds left, leaving the Warriors in a must- foul situation for the remainder of the game.
With the win, Ryerson improves to a 5-2 record—moving into a three-way tie with Ottawa and Queen’s for third in the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) East.
Ryerson’s stifling defence was also major in this one, as they held the Waterloo offence to a mere 34.6 per cent field goal shooting performance throughout the game.
The Rams stormed out to a quick lead to start the game, with Ngom scoring the team’s first nine points—propelling Ryerson to an early 18-9 lead.
Warriors guard Simon Petrov created most of the offensive attack for his team—scoring six points to keep Waterloo within striking distance, cutting the score to 24-21 to end the opening quarter.
In the second frame, the Rams used their strong defensive pressure to gain scoring chances, causing Waterloo to turn the ball over four times in 10 minutes. The Rams also got some crucial buckets from Mukama in the quarter, with the forward scoring six of his 17 points to lead his team to a 46-34 lead at the half.
The Rams kept that momentum up until the fourth quarter, when the Warriors found new life. However, they still didn’t have enough to beat the two-time defending OUA champs when it mattered most come OT.
Acting head coach Borko Popic, who’s replacing Roy Rana while he coaches Canada’s senior men’s national team, had some positive words for the Rams after the contest, stating that he was happy with the team’s effort in the face of adversity.
“We have veterans, we have fifth year guys, fourth year guys, and a range stepped up at different times,” he said.
UP NEXT: The Rams will host the Laurier Golden Hawks on Saturday at the Mattamy Athletic Centre. Tip-off is scheduled at 8:00 p.m.