By Gavin Axelrod
The No. 7 ranked Ryerson men’s basketball team trampled the Nipissing Lakers in a 107-48 blowout win Feb. 14 at Mattamy Athletic Centre (MAC).
Rams forward Tanor Ngom electrified the home crowd with a monster put-back dunk midway through the second quarter.
The thunderous flush gave Ryerson the energy it needed to mount a 26-point lead heading into halftime.
“It was crazy,” said Rams guard Jayden Frederick on the dunk. “It brings energy to the whole team, I love to see my teammates do good things.”
Friday was a special night for Ryerson’s first-year sharpshooter Mouhamed Ndiaye, who scored a career-high 19 points and five rebounds.
“At the beginning of the year, [Ndiaye was] a very quiet guy,” said Frederick. “He’s coming out of his shell now and it’s showing on the court, we always knew what he was capable of.”
Ndiaye shot an impressive 63 per cent from the field in 20 minutes of play. He was one of five Rams in double-figures.
“My confidence is getting better,” said Ndiaye. “It’s probably because the coaches are helping me more, I’m asking them more questions, and even when I’m on the bench I’m paying attention and I think that’s what’s made the difference between now and the first game [of the year].”
Ryerson’s defensive prowess was on display all night, holding Nipissing to just 48 points. This marks the second straight contest the Rams have held their opponent to 52 or fewer points in a game.
In addition, the Rams recorded seven steals, nine blocks and forced their opponent to shoot an abysmal 21.9 per cent from the field in the game.
It was a full team victory for Ryerson, as every player scored at least one point and played over 10 minutes.
“It’s always good to get all twelve guys in double-digit minutes,” said Popic. “Everybody played from 11-22 [minutes]. It’s good to see them continue to attack and compete and build the lead as well.”
Frederick finished the game leading all scorers with 24-points and nine rebounds, shooting 80 per cent from three-point range.
The importance of Rams forward Liam O’Leary-Orange in Friday’s contest was also huge. O’Leary-Orange was tasked with defending Nipissing big man Justin Shaver early in the contest and helped hold him to 6-17 shooting.
“He’s been giving us really good energy and gave us solid minutes tonight,” said Popic. “It gives us depth on our inside presence and we’re gonna need more of that going forward.”
It’ll be a quick turnaround for Ryerson, who hosts the No. 6 ranked Laurentian Voyageurs tomorrow on senior night.
However, the team’s mindset continues to remain the same, with one game left before playoffs.
“Every game is competitive to us,” said Frederick. “We’re just gonna have the same perspective and we’re gonna play hard.”
UP NEXT: Ryerson hosts Laurentian tomorrow in their regular season finale. Tip-off is set for 8:00 p.m.