A weekend of fast-paced, exciting and aggressive basketball showed the Ryerson Rams basketball teams where they stood going into the second half of the season.
by: Ryan McKenna
It was an exciting weekend of basketball on Coca-Cola Court at the Mattamy Athletic Centre at the Gardens as some of the best basketball teams in the country faced off against the Ryerson Rams.
Friday night started off with the Ottawa Gee-Gees destroying the Rams in women’s basketball action. The final score was 75-55, but at some points the lead was as big as 30. The Rams really struggled in the paint, giving up 18 offensive rebounds. A couple players that dominated the Rams, and were expexted to, are Maddie Stephen and Jenna Gilbert. I was really impressed with the versatility of Gilbert and how she was able to pick up rebounds, be effective in her position, but when you needed a three-pointer, she could go beyond the ark and do that for you. Overall, Gilbert hit 75 per cent of her shots from beyond the ark. For Ryerson, it was a lot of sloppy play. They had a lot of opportunities to stay with Ottawa but when given an open look, they would miss the easy lay-up.
The men’s game against the Gee-Gees was one of the most physical match-ups I have seen in a long time. The Rams battled hard with Ottawa all night in a back and worth game that they ended up winning 76-71, improving their record to 10-0. The play of sophomore Aaron Best and sidekick junior Jahmal Jones was ultimately the difference against the Gee-Gees squad. Best racked up 27 points on Friday night while Jones had 26 points. Johnny Berhanemeskel was a stand out for Ottawa, making a nice three-pointer at the end of the third quarter to keep the Gee-Gees in it. Overall on the night, Berhanemeskel notched 19 points, and went 63 per cent from the outside.
Saturday night had all the hype and excitement as expected when the Carleton Ravens came into town to duel the Rams. The women’s game was another mirror of Friday night with the Rams turning the ball over a lot, eventually losing 63-51. At certain points the Rams would make blind passes to no player in sight, or their passes would be way off. Another key to them losing to number six nationally ranked Carleton, is the play of Kelcey Wright, who was held to just 10 points all night. She will need to be better if the Rams are able to snap their losing streak next weekend in Laurentian.
The big matchup of the night was the men’s game as the two-time defending national champions took on the undefeated Rams. The Ravens proved that they are still the top team in the OUA East and in the country, defeating Ryerson 91-66. The Rams held their ground in the first half, trailing by only seven at halftime, but the second half was a completely different story. Players such as Tyson Hinz (game-high 24 points) and Philip Scrubb (21 points) were dominant for Carleton. For Ryerson, it was all about not taking advantage of your opportunities. The Rams shot 62.5% from the free-throw line, but missed a lot of key ones at important points in the game.
Overall, it was a great test for both Ryerson teams starting off the second half. Both Carleton and Ottawa are team’s you will see come post-season play, and if fans are fortunate, the Wilson Cup.
Ryan McKenna is a broadcaster and writer for the Ryerson Rams Network. Games can be seen live at http://bit.ly/OjwT1v