Photo by Christian Bender

Rams going for gold in OT win over Gee-Gees

By Christian Ryan

TORONTO - The Ryerson Rams knew they had to turn the tables on the Ottawa Gee-Gees this weekend, but they didn’t set out to completely flip their previous matchup.

The Rams bested the Gee-Gees 95-92 in overtime Friday night at the Mattamy Athletic Centre. Their performance, a slow start and strong second half, were the complete opposite of the previous matchup between the two OUA powerhouses.

Sitting tenth in U SPORTS national rankings, defeating the ninth overall Gee-Gees is a massive boost for a hard charging Rams team heading into tomorrow’s match against undefeated country leaders, the Carleton Ravens.

Lately the highest scoring figure for the team, Manny Diressa (Toronto, Ont.) continued his trend as he put up a game high 41 points. More impressive, the Gee-Gees only held him to four points in the first quarter. Diressa fought back to put up 25 in the second half, putting up a higher scoring half than any Gee-Gees full-game performance.

“Manny had a special second half,” Rams assistant coach Borko Popic said. “That certainly changes the flow of the game. We were able to maximize that and guys were able to step up; numerous guys at different times. It was a totally different second half for us.”

While Diressa dominated the second half, Adam Voll (Kitchener, Ont.) consistently remained an anchor for the team throughout the entire game. Consistently landing threes (3-5), putting up a season-high 17 points, and dominating defensively, the fifth-year senior showed why he is a leader on the team.

“For me, it’s always starting on defence,” Voll said as his teammates passed, chanting “MVP”. “We looked a bit flat in the first half. Coming out to the second, we were hungrier, and we wanted to protect; protect our house.”

While Manny’s comeback and highlight reel threes to tie the game and go ahead in overtime had the crowd ignited, Voll’s consistency was just as essential.

“That’s fifth-year leadership,” Popic said of Voll’s performance. “Defensively, just battling with their big guys inside, and just having that calming presence at the back of your defence to communicate and help when necessary. His impact is bigger than his stat line.”

Tomorrow, the Rams host the U SPORTS number one Carleton Ravens for their second match of the season, closing out Gold Rush weekend. The match marks a rematch not only for the Ravens’ 89-80 win over the Rams in January, but for last year’s U SPORTS gold medal match. With the Rams’ current streak and hot off of the victory over the Gee-Gees, the team knows there is no time like the present to face the country’s top team.

“[We need to] get ready mentally, physically recover, and go to battle tomorrow,” Popic said. “They’re undefeated. Number one team in the country. We’re excited! It’s in our home court, and we’re looking forward to the challenge.”

The Rams host the Carleton Ravens Saturday, January 27, 8 p.m. ET at the Mattamy Athletic Centre.

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