By Libaan Osman
Thanks to the heroics of Ryerson guard Myles Charvis, the Rams escaped with a narrow 84-77 victory over the York Lions at the Tait McKenzie Centre on Jan. 12.
Trailing by four heading into the fourth, Charvis took over late, dropping 10 points in the quarter to help the Rams secure their 13th win of the season.
“When the game comes down to the line, as a fifth-year player you have to make plays whether that be on the offensive end or defensive end, today it was a little bit of both,” Charvis said.
Looking to get his teammates going in the first half, Charvis had just six points on seven shots but when the team needed him late, he found ways to get to the rim and convert with contact.
Charvis finished with 24 points on 10-16 shooting to go along with four rebounds and three assists.
The seven-point win over the Lions marks the Rams 16th straight win against the latter, not having lost a game to York since the 2011-12 season.
“I didn’t even know that, that’s pretty cool,” Charvis said. “That just goes to show the alumni before us were of high class and they were of excellence and wanted to win just as bad as we did.”
Finding themselves behind for the majority of this game, the Rams had to rely on their veteran core to carry the load late.
Fifth-year forward Filip Vujadinovic answered the calls, making a name for himself on the glass with both Tanor Ngom and Warsame Mohamed in foul trouble. Vujadinovic had a game-high 12 rebounds as well as 13 points on 4-9 shooting.
“He’s an animal, we all have role cards and his role card is warrior,” fifth-year guard Jean-Victor Mukama said. “That’s one of the biggest attributes of his game, we’re just happy today he fought and we clearly needed him.”
Foul trouble also plagued Mukama, who had 12 of his 20 points in the first half. Rams guard Yusuf Ali was huge off the bench, pouring in 13 points while knocking down three triples in 28 minutes of action.
In the first two quarters, the Rams allowed the Lions to score 13 points off their eight turnovers but made sure to put a halt to that, getting back on defence in transition, not allowing a single basket off their turnovers in the second half.
The Rams were pretty thin in terms of depth without guard Nathan Culbreath for the fourth straight game and forward Keevon Small missing his first game of the season due to shoulder pain he experienced earlier in the day.
Ryerson assistant coach Borko Popic was hesitant to call Small’s shoulder pain an injury, but the coaching staff decided to rest him for precautionary reasons and he’s expected to be available in the team’s next matchup against Laurentian.
“That’s part of it, recover, rest, getting guys back healthy, you can’t expect to play at 100 per cent,” Popic said. “Those are all the challenges of a season and we’re in the thick of it right now.”
UP NEXT: The Rams will take on the Laurentian Voyageurs at the Mattamy Athletic Centre on Jan. 18. Tip-off is scheduled for 8 p.m.