The “Best” season in Ryerson Rams Men’s Basketball program continues…The latest chapter authored by what will certainly go down as one of the greatest Ryerson sports team of all-time, went blow-for-blow with the 11-time CIS Basketball champs Carleton Ravens – landing plenty of body shots to withstand a historic 73-68 win to the delight of a packed house, of perhaps the best fanbase in country, alumni and everybody else associated with the university.
Fittingly, it was Aaron Best (Game-high 21 points, 5 rebounds , 6-13 shooting) who thanked the home crowd for giving him the support after winning their first-ever Ontario University Association Gold Medal. After-all, the fifth-year Best is the only current player on the Rams squad who can truly tell you what “started from the bottom, now we here” really feel likes!
“It’s big for the university, it’s big for all of us, it’s big for all of the alumni, for all of the players that played here,” said Ryerson’s Aaron Best while wrapped in the OUA banner following the game. “It’s huge because it’s a testament to the work that everybody put in. Not just everybody on this team but everybody’s who’s played for this team since the beginning.” an proud Best discussed during post game.
After an early 8-2 lead Ryerson found themselves trailing 18-13 in the first-quarter and faced a deficit of 13 points at half-time as the Ravens dominated the offensive glass 9-1 holding the Rams to just 27 points in the first-half for a 40-27 lead. Carleton’s was paced by Connor Wood’s 20 points, 17 first-half buckets including 6-of-8 and 4-of-6 threes.
Adika Peter-McNeilly scored 12 of his 16 points in the third quarter, going 10-for-10 from the foul line to erase the double-digit first-half deficit by tying the game at 55-55. Ryerson, quickly grabbed the lead in opening minute for good on back-to-back jumpers from Aaron Best who fired-up the crowd and helped fight off a Ravens team so accustomed to wearing gold around their necks that most players simply refused to accept the silver.
CIS Coach of year, leading candidate Patrick Tatham and Rams will enter the 2016 CIS Final 8 Champions as the number one seed and are now just three-games away from their first-ever National championship and bringing the parade down to Carlton and Dundas. Now if that happens, you know the “6God” will be full be blasting down the speakers and who knows Drake himself may just consider becoming the Global Sponsor for the Ryerson Rams Mens basketball program. #Hotupinthe6
Highly touted Alabama Crimson Tide Return To Canada
The Alabama Crimson Tide led by former NBA Head Coach Avery Johnson, a 16-year veteran and NBA champion point-guard during his playing days will bring his highly touted Alabama Crimson Tide to Canada for series of games against Canada’s top university basketball programs.
The Crimson Tide will visit both Montreal and Ottawa for a three-game exhibition schedule against McGill Redmen (Mon Aug 7), Carleton Ravens (Wed Aug 9) and the Ottawa Gee-Gees (Thu Aug 10).
The Tide competed hard last year and took a step in the right direction with a 19-15 record, 10-8 SEC record and have NCAA March Madness tournament aspirations thanks to solid recruiting class which ranks amongst the nations best.
Led by a talented crop of returning guards, Dazon Ingram (10.6 PPG, 4.5 RPG), Riley Norris (9 PPG, 3 RPG), the coaches son Avery Johnson Jr. and forwards Braxton Key the Tide will be a handful for the it’s Canadian opposition.
Key a 6’8″, 220 lbs flirted with the 2017 NBA draft after a stellar freshman season, the Charlotte, NC native led ‘Bama in scoring with 12 point per game and was second in rebounding at 5.7 per game. The Tide will also welcome incoming red-shirt sophomore 6’10”, 240lbs Daniel Giddens to a line-up that returns four starters.
Alabama anchored by current NBA player Alonzo Gee (Denver Nuggets) last visited Canada back in 2007 and finished with a record of 4-1 against the same exact teams, dropping a tight 83-72 decision against the Carleton Ravens who have won seven straight Canadian titles including 13-of the-last-15 championships.
Carleton’s signature win over Alabama was only their second ever against a NCAA division one team after 16-game losing streak from 1999 to 2006. The Ravens current record against NCAA teams in Canada stands at an impressive 26-23 (.531%) record.
Calgary Dinos Thomas Cooper Senior Highlights
Calgary Dinos senior guard Thomas Cooper had himself and impressive CIS/Usports career to say the least. The Chattanooga, Tenn. native, a 6-5, 200 lbs guard earned himself two first team All-Canadian awards while leading Dinos back to the championship game for the first time since 1966.
No. 1 Carleton Ravens 81-40 lock-up rivals No. 2 Ottawa Gee-Gees
Ottawa, ON – The twelve-time defending CIS/USports National Basketball Champions and No.1 Carleton Ravens went into Monpetit Hall and completely dominated the No. 2 ranked Ottawa Gee-Gees, locking up their Bytown rivals with a blistering 81-40 win.
The Ravens, the top defensive unit in the country, allowing an incredible low of only 60 points to opponents, dominated every aspect of the much anticipated game holding Ottawa to four points in the first-quarter and thirteen in the second for a grand total of seventeen first-half points and 35-17 half-time lead.
The first-quarter ended with Ravens leading 11-4 as both teams slugged it out in front of a jam packed standing room only Monpetit Hall which hasn’t seen the Gee-Gees get dismantled like this on their home floor in 32-game OUA conference games – snapping home winning streak which dated back to 2012.
Fifth-year senior Guard Connor Wood caught fire in the second-quarter after a cold start scoring all but 14 of the teams 24 points in the quarter and finished with 16 in the half and game-high 19 points. Starting point guard Kaza Kajami-Keane added 10 points, six rebounds in just 19 minutes.
The Gee-Gees were limited to 6-of-32 (18.8%) shooting, 3-of-17 from the outside in the opening 20 minutes and managed to only connect on 12-56 (21.4%) of their field goal attempts for the entire game and only 6-of-26 from the outside.
Carleton shot 50% in the second-half and finished 31-68 from the floor and 13-of-28 from downtown while turning the ball over 9 times compared to the Gee-Gees 18.
The 40 points allowed by the Ravens is their lowest against the Gee-Gees since a 74-34 smack-down in January 18th, 2012 at the Sixth Annual Capital Hoops Classic.
Carleton Ravens 6’10” freshman Eddie Ekiyor (Ottawa, ON) and senior forward Ryan Ejim (Toronto, ON) finished one point shy of double-doubles with 9 points and 8 rebounds respectively, and shutdown the Gee-Gees dynamic duo of Caleb Agada (12 points, 4 rebounds) and former Ravens Jean Emmanuel Pierre (7 points, 6 rebounds). Gee-Gees Guard Brandon Robinson had a team-high 15 points on 4-of-8 shooting, 3-of-4 triples.
Carleton’s record stays unblemished at a perfect 10-0, 16-0 against Canadian competition and 22-2 overall with the only losses coming from two NCAA opponents on the road in Rhode Island – Providence Friars 87-69 and in Philadelphia against LaSalle Explorers 79-73.
Both teams will meet again in just over two weeks (Feb 3rd) at the 2017 Capital Hoops Classic at the ScotiaBank Centre.
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