Photo: Julia Bellini

Rams finish preseason with historic win over X-Men

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By Libaan Osman

The Ryerson Rams men’s basketball team had their best offensive outing of the preseason on Oct. 21, as they punished the St. Francis Xavier X-Men 139-72 at Kerr Hall Gymnasium.

Recording a jaw-dropping 49 points in the first quarter, it seemed like the Rams couldn’t miss, shooting a dazzling 90.5 per cent from the field on 21 shot attempts.

“We were able to find our rhythm early,” lead assistant coach Borko Popic said. “Ball was moving, guys were passing it up and we were able to make shots at a very high rate. And the confidence continued to build from there.”

Ryerson scored more points in the first quarter than they did in the first half of their first six preseason games. Not only that, but according to Martin Timmerman of U Sports Hoops, the 139 points scored by the Rams on the afternoon is the most points ever by a team in a 40-minute game between two U SPORTS teams.

Leading the team was none other than fifth-year guard Jean-Victor Mukama, who poured in 24 points, seven assists, six rebounds and two blocks in 27 minutes of action. Mukama, who wasn’t satisfied with his one turnover in the game, is taking pride this year in being one of the more vocal leaders on the roster.

“It’s my fifth year, I’ve been here long enough, I know what Rana wants,” Mukama said. “I need to be an outlet for the coaches, being a veteran.”

“Just [helping by] being a second coach on the court, especially defensively. I think this team is so talented offensively, if we play hard defensively you’re gonna see special things like you [saw] today.”

Along with Mukama, Ryerson had five other players score in double-digits with Myles Charvis, Jaylen Frederick and Keevon Small all finishing with at least 20 points.

Ryerson knocked down an impressive 16 triples, while also turning the X-Men over 12 times to give them a 81-34 advantage at halftime. The second half was more of the same, as the onslaught continued with Ryerson finishing the game shooting a dazzling 66.2 per cent from the field en route to their 67-point win.

With the win on Sunday, the Rams conclude their preseason with a 6-1 record and are now set to kick-off their regular season play this Friday against the University of Toronto.

Transfer from Seneca College, Yusuf Ali, can’t wait to suit up in his first ever OUA regular season game. “I’m actually excited, I’ve been doing my research, watching film,” Ali said. “I think we’ll be ready for Friday.”

On the other hand, Rams guard Mukama, hasn’t lost to Toronto in all of his four years at Ryerson and is hoping to keep that win streak intact.

“I’d be very, very mad,” Mukama, on if Ryerson were to lose against the University of Toronto Friday. “But I can promise you I won’t let that happen.”

UP NEXT: The Rams will take on the Varsity Blues at the Mattamy Athletic Center on Friday Oct. 26. Tip-off is scheduled for 8 p.m. 

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