By Michael Mazzei
The York University Lions scored 70 points Wednesday night. Ryerson’s Ammanuel Diressa scored 50.
Behind Diressa’s career night, sparked by his 10-20 shooting from three-point range, the Rams defeated the Lions 83-70 at the Coca-Cola Court to move up to fourth place in the OUA East, two points behind Ottawa for third.
For the eighth consecutive game, Diressa led the Rams in points, but his performance wasn’t limited to just scoring. Diressa grabbed 15 rebounds, dished out four assists, nabbed three steals and blocked two shots. Despite coming two points shy of Ryerson’s all-time record of 52, Diressa still impressed Rams assistant Borko Popic to say the least.
“He had a complete stat line tonight, especially with the 50 points,” Popic said. “But he did it all aspects of the game besides points, including three assists and (going) 14 of 15 from the (free throw) line.”
One of the keys to the Rams’ success was their effectiveness from the three-point line. The team set the tone early with two consecutive threes to open the scoring, and went on to finish the night 13-36 from beyond the arc.
During the first half, Diressa caught fire and carried the team on his back offensively, with 24 points and five three-pointers by halftime. Thanks in no small part to his dominant performance, Ryerson was able to maintain a 39-28 lead after two.
Senior guard Myles Charvis got a first hand view of Diressa’s historic night and was impressed by how mentally locked in his star teammate was.
“He missed a couple of shots, but he was focused,” he said. “When he’s in his element, it’s really hard to stop him, and a 50 point game was bound to happen at some point.”
Diressa also felt satisfied with his performance, and was humbled to learn that his performance was among the best in school history.
“A couple of shots went down early. I was aggressive and got a lot of clean looks,” he said.
Despite Ryerson’s halftime lead, and Diressa’s offensive barrage, the Lions kept the game close. York was within a point of tying the game during the fourth quarter. When it seemed like the momentum was firmly in York’s grasp, Charvis got the crowd on its feet with two consecutive layups that kept the Rams ahead.
Charvis finished the game with 11 points, four rebounds, and three assists, and he said he took advantage of what the Lions defense was giving him to have success.
“I noticed that they were overplaying [Diressa] and the driving lanes were gonna be there,” he said. “You always have to be locked in because you never know when your opportunity is gonna be and just stay focused.”
The Rams will have their work cut out for them when they face the Queen’s Gaels on Friday. Popic said that the team will prepare as they usually do when they look to extend their current win streak to three games.
“We got to get the guys rested tomorrow for recovery,” he said. “Tomorrow we’ll look ahead to Queen’s and we should be ready to go for Friday.”
UP NEXT: The Rams return to action on Jan. 19 when they take on the Gaels at Ryerson’s Coca-Cola Court. Tip-off is scheduled for 8 p.m.