TORONTO - In front of a raucous crowd under the dome at Mattamy Athletic Centre, the Ryerson Rams men's basketball team entertained their fans but ultimately dropped an 88-80 decision to the Wake Forest Demon Deacons.
The game was the last of three and a full day of basketball as part of Ryerson Hoops Festival.
Ryerson put together a strong first half, challenging the Demon Deacons with their fast pace and playing solid defensively. After the first quarter the Rams trailed 18-17 but would make that ground up in the second quarter, taking a 39-37 lead into halftime.
Aaron Best (Scarborough, Ont.) had a strong quarter, sinking back-to-back three pointers to help the Rams gain the advantage.
Ryerson stalled offensively coming out of the halftime break, committing turnovers on many of their early possessions in the third quarter. Wake Forest capitalized on the Rams' mishaps and was able to build a nine point lead with six minutes to go in the frame. Wake Forest posted 32 points in the third, doubling Ryerson's quarter total, and took a 69-55 lead into the fourth.
The Rams chipped away at the lead throughout the fourth quarter but could not recover from the deficit, falling 88-80.
Best led the Rams with 26 points on the night while Jahmal Jones (Mississauga, Ont.) dropped 20 and a game-high eight assists. Bjorn Michaelsen (Otterburn Park, Que.) had a solid game posting 12 points and a game-high nine rebounds. Yannick Walcott (Toronto) was a spark off the bench, draining three triples for nine points.
Ryerson executed well defensively to hold Wake Forest's CJ Harris (Winston-Salem, NC) to just eight points. Harris finished fourth in his conference in scoring last season. The Demon Deacons had strong nights from Travis McKie (Richmond, VA) and Codi Miller-McIntyre (Concord, NC) in the win. McKie tallied 26 points while Miller-McIntyre had 16 points and a game-high nine rebounds.
The Rams return to action next weekend as they take a trip State-side to visit Detroit Mercy on October 27. Conference action gets underway November 9 as Ryerson hosts Lakehead at 8:00 p.m.