Photo by Alex D'Addese

Rams overcome shooting woes to take down Nipissing

By Luke Bellus

TORONTO - The Ryerson Rams men’s basketball team picked up a convincing 78-54 win over the Nipissing Lakers Saturday night.

The Rams took care of business this weekend going 2-0 ahead of a big weekend on the road in Ottawa.

On a night where the Rams only shot 5-27 from beyond the arc, Ryerson had to find other ways to put points on the board.

Assistant coach Borko Popic pointed out the 21 free throw attempts that Ryerson had as a positive sign that the team wasn’t just settling for bad shots.

So, what is the key when struggling from the floor? Fifth-year Fil Vujadinovic said it’s all about the mental part of the game. “When you start saying to yourself ‘my shot isn’t falling’ that’s when you get in trouble.”

For Vujadinovic he pointed out that on a night like tonight it’s important that he sees the success when he drives to the next and not letting missed shots change his aggressive approach.

Although he shot 1/6 from three tonight he was 6/10 when shooting a midrange or driving the basket and finished the night when a team leading 17 points.

During his time at Ryerson, Vujadinovic has been a wildcard at times emotionally and he acknowledged that he has made great strides with that and his mental approach of the game.

When asked about working with the younger players on the team with the mental side of things Vujadinovic pointed out that there is a fine line between helping a guy and forcing him to do something he doesn’t want to do.

But Vujadinovic isn’t shy about pulling a player aside and pointing something out when he sees mistakes being made mentally.

Coming off of their 23-point win over the Laurentian Voyageurs the only thing between the Rams and a week of preparation for two really big games in Ottawa was the Lakers.

That and star fifth-year guard Jean-Victor Mukama being in a walking boot.

Mukama left Friday night’s game briefly but returned to help his teammates finish off the Voyageurs but they would have to get it done without him tonight.

After the game Fil Vujadinovic – who led the team with 17 points said, “It was a little weird, I’m so used to having [JV] in my ear while I’m on the court, whether it be good or bad stuff, offence/defence, his presence on the court is missed.”

Vujadinovic added that although Mukama was missed on the court his vocal leadership can be heard from the bench.

Vujadinovic and the starters joined Mukama on the bench for a stretch in the second half when the lead was big and the bench players were getting minutes.

Similar to Mukama, although the starters were no longer on the floor their presence was felt, “This is a really special team.” Vujadinovic said “Usually we have seven or eight guys on a team who get minutes but this year it’s different. We have 11 or 12 guys who on any night can make a big impact and it’s nice to see them do it when they get the chance.”

Ryerson will be back in action Jan. 25 when they take on the Ottawa Gee-Gees at Montpetit Hall.

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