Experienced Rams end Concordia's title hopes
HALIFAX, N.S. - In their opening game of the U SPORTS Final 8 tournament the Ryerson Rams beat the Concordia Stingers 87-47.
This win means the Rams will play in the national semifinal for the fifth straight year – the second longest active streak.
“It starts with leadership,” said fifth-year senior Myles Charvis. “Just coming in now we have a very experienced group, you learn from all of your previous experiences and understand that nothing is given. You need to approach every game with the attitude that this could be your last and enjoy the moment.”
After the game Stingers coach Rastko Popovic said, “I thought we missed a lot of open shots, nerves probably played a factor.” Popovic added, “It’s the first time in this tournament for most of our team so might have been a little more nervous at the start of the game.”
That start of the game set the tone for what was yet to come, and it was as good of a start to the game that the Rams could have asked for, racing out to a 14-0 run in the opening four minutes of the game. Ryerson’s dominance didn’t stop there.
Ryerson shot a remarkable 5-7 from three in the opening 10 minutes and shot 52.9 per cent as a team from the field. On the other side of the floor Ryerson shut down the Stingers, holding them to just six points.
Ryerson’s 20-point lead after the opening quarter was still intact once halftime came around. Concordia bounced back from the slow start and added 15 points while also holding the Rams to just 15 points as well.
Concordia, a team that relies on the three-point shot, struggled from beyond the arc shooting just 2-20 in the first half.
Rams coach Roy Rana said, “We did a great job executing our game plan, we schemed to make sure that the three ball was something that they had to work very hard for.”
Ryerson did a great job in the first half of holding RSEQ MVP Ricardo Monge to just 2 points on 1-6 shooting while also forcing him into three turnovers.
Popovic added how the drastic difference of height between the teams affects the offence. “It just means that when you think it’s an open shot the contest is coming so much faster. And that can force you to rush your shot.”
The second half was no different and Ryerson held their big lead allowing coach Rana to get his starters some much needed rest before the national semifinal Saturday afternoon.
Rana said, “I think the best thing about today is that we got to play a lot of guys, give them some experience and help them shake off some nerves when they get an opportunity to get back into the game tomorrow.”
Ryerson will be back on the court Saturday afternoon when they take on the No. 2 Calgary Dinos with a berth in the National Championship on the line.