TORONTO – The Ryerson Rams men’s basketball team survived a late fourth quarter scare to win 84-64 over the Nipissing Lakers on Friday night for their first victory on Coca-Cola Court since winning the OUA championship back in March.
Adika Peter-McNeilly led the way for the Rams with a game-high 18 points over 34 minutes of work. He went 6-13 from the field but picked up a big time block and an impressive 10 rebounds. He was content with the way he played but ecstatic about the return to Coca-Cola Court.
“It felt good. It’s been a long time since the OUA Final Four just to feel the atmosphere. Having the Ram Pack there and having your family in the audience…it was pretty good,” said Peter-McNeilly following the win. “I still have to work on my three’s but overall I think I did pretty good…just cut down on my turnovers.”
Other notable mentions include Manny Diressa who had 14 points, as well as Filip Vujadinovic and guard Myles Charvis who each contributed with 13. Vujadinovic deserves some extra attention with his complete performance off the bench Friday night. Head coach Roy Rana was quite pleased from what he saw out of the third year.
“He does a lot more than just shoot the ball. He’s just becoming more mature,” said Rana. “You can see it. His emotions are in check, he’s playing with a lot more confidence and when he plays like that he helps us out in a lot of different ways.”
The Rams stormed out of the gate thanks to an electric atmosphere and energy supplied by the home faithful. A 21-point first quarter was followed up with a 31-point second quarter to send the Rams into the half with a huge 52-26 lead.
Rams’ Juwon Grannum was about as precise as you can get from the floor going 4-5 in the half and picked up two offensive rebounds in the process.
A well executed third quarter boosted the Rams’ lead to 32 before the fourth, but being up big seemed to affect the Rams a tad in the final 10 minutes. The Lakers stormed back with a 23-point finish but the Rams regrouped to come out on top.
“We want to make sure we don’t start to develop bad habits when we’re up big and that’s the most challenging time to stay disciplined,” said Rana. “We got a little undisciplined in the fourth quarter but you know, it didn’t hurt us.”
The late fourth quarter push from the Lakers went for naught as the Rams hung on to win 84-64 win in front of a packed MAC in the home opener.
Guards Peter-McNeilly and Keevon Small put up incredible numbers on the glass, an area of work that is often left for the big men to take care of. The relationship between the movement of the bigs and smalls is crucial for the Rams moving forward and worked to a tee Friday night.
“It’s collective…our bigs are doing a good job taking guys out of the play and our guards are coming and cleaning it up,” said Rana. “It has to be a collective effort on the glass and it’s encouraging to see our guards rebounding the way they are.”
The Rams will look to improve to 4-0-tomorrow night with the Laurentian Voyageurs coming to town for a scheduled 8:00 p.m. tip off at the MAC. Both the women and men’s OUA championship banners will be raised marking an historic night for Ryerson Athletics that you won’t want to miss. If you can’t make it to the game, you can stream it via OUA.tv, courtesy of Rams Live.