By Sports Staff
The Ryerson Rams kept their dream of a third consecutive OUA title alive with a 77-69 win over the Ottawa Gee-Gees Saturday night.
Ryerson and Ottawa had nearly identical success from the field, with both teams shooting 40.3 per cent and hitting seven threes on the night.
The difference came down to free throws. While the Rams hit 20-27 attempts from the charity stripe, the Gee-Gees struggled, managing to shoot a dismal 12-24 on foul shots. Free throws matter, especially in a neck-and-neck contest, and especially in the playoffs.
Until the fourth quarter, Ryerson and Ottawa were only separated by a single point. The Gee-Gees then went 0-4 from the line in the final frame, while the Rams went a perfect 9-9.
In the pivotal second half, the Rams were led by Ammanuel Diressa and JV Mukama, who both provided stability on the offensive end. Mukama poured in 11 points and grabbed seven boards after halftime, while Diressa scored 13 points—including nine from the free throw line—and added six rebounds and four steals to boot.
Ball protection was also a key factor in which team came out on top. Ryerson had only eight turnovers, while Ottawa had 23, leading to 23 points for the Rams. Ryerson’s bench also doubled Ottawa’s in scoring, 20-10. The little things tend to matter most in the biggest games.
The Rams will now play the Brock Badgers, the top-ranked team in the OUA West, for a spot in the Wilson Cup finals.
In their one meeting this season, the Rams lost 80-75 to the Badgers in a tightly contested game that ended in overtime.
UP NEXT: The Rams will take on the Brock Badgers at