Strong first quarter leads Rams to win over Lions
TORONTO – A strong first quarter helped propel the Ryerson Rams men’s basketball team to an 87-73 victory over the York Lions on Friday night at the Mattamy Athletic Centre.
Four different Rams finished in double digits in scoring, led by Jahmal Jones (Mississauga, Ont.) with 21 points. Kadeem Green (Markham, Ont.) finished with 19 points while Bjorn Michaelsen (Otterburn Park, Que.) added 12 and Aaron Best (Scarborough, Ont.) netted ten points.
The Rams were quick out of the gates on Friday and used their speed to create turnovers and fast break chances to help open up an 11-0 advantage through four minutes of action. By the end of the quarter the home squad led 19-9.
York chipped into the lead in the second quarter, outscoring the Rams by five to make it a five point game at half with Ryerson leading 38-33.
Ryerson had another quick start coming out of the halftime break and extended their lead to 13 points on a pair of free throws from Aaron Best. Once again York was able to claw back into it and a Ryan Ejim (Brampton, Ont.) three pointer made it a six point game but the Rams led 59-51 after 30 minutes.
Despite a comfortable lead midway through the fourth quarter the Rams didn’t let up and built their biggest lead of the game at 18 points with 1:40 remaining before closing the game out with the 87-73 win.
Jahmal Jones spoke after the game about how the team continues to focus on defence and then playing transition basketball to generate some points, although tonight they relied on their big men for some help.
“In the second half we buckled down and went inside to our bigs and they got some easy buckets,” Jones said.
NBA star Tristan Thompson was on hand to take in Friday’s game and took some time to speak with the media afterwards.
“Coach Rana is a good friend of mine...so I came out to support him. I played against Kadeem Green and Jahmal Jones back in my high school days so I wanted to check them out, I heard they were playing well. They have a talented team,” Thompson said.
Ejim and Richard Iheadindu (Brampton, Ont.) each finished with 17 points in the loss for York.
The Rams (15-6) will finish the regular season portion of their schedule Saturday night when they host the Queen’s Gaels (10-11) with tipoff scheduled for 8:00 p.m.