By Chris Sanders
The Ryerson Rams men’s basketball team were blown out in their final exhibition matchup by the Dalhousie Tigers 75-56 in a game to forget at the Mattamy Athletic Centre Oct. 12.
After defeating the Tigers in the U SPORTS Championship bronze medal game back in March, the Rams couldn’t replicate that win as it slipped away from them in the second half.
“It’s on everyone, us not really finding our rhythm, us kind of forcing stuff and they just wanted it more,” said Rams guard Tevaun Kokko. “We got punched in the mouth and sometimes that’s just how it goes.”
Tigers guard Alex Carson led the way early, dropping 10 of his 15 points in the opening quarter to give Dalhousie a 22-12 lead.
“They bullied us and outplayed us,” said Rams guard Jayden Frederick. “They played way harder then we did, which has been a recurring problem with our team so far this year.”
In their final preseason game, Rams star forward Tanor Ngom was sidelined after a hand injury in last night’s matchup against the Mercyhurst Lakers.
Their lack of size was apparent, as Ryerson allowed 45 points in the paint.
Rams point guard Tevaun Kokko stepped up in the second quarter, pouring in 15 of the team’s 32 points as Ryerson led 44-34 heading into halftime.
It went downhill from there as the Rams scored 12 points in the second half and only four points in the final quarter.
“When we were up, we got comfortable and they attacked us and we didn’t do the same. We let them attack us and hit us in the third quarter. They kept hitting us, hitting us, hitting us and there was nothing we could do at that point,” said Frederick.
The Rams had just three players score more than five points on the night. Kokko led the way with 17, as forward Keevon Small added 14 and Frederick finished with 10 points.
Blowing two double-digit leads at halftime this weekend, Frederick expects that to be an area they’ll look to fix as they gear up for the regular season.
“I guess this is something we’re going to have focus on going into the season. We’re gonna have to focus on playing harder and keeping our energy up when things aren’t going our way, when shots aren’t [falling] and we’ll be good.”
UP NEXT: The Rams open their season at home against the York Lions on Oct. 24. Tip-off is set for 8:00 p.m.