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Ryerson Rams win first-ever OUA title, Secure No. 1 seed at 2016 CIS Final 8

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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!

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“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.

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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.

Patrick-Tatham-Ryerson-Rams-Coach

Ryerson Rams Head CoachPatrick Tatham – Photo: Michael P. Hall

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

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Men

Kadre Gray wins second consecutive U Sports MVP

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Kadre Gray 1040x572

Laurentian guard Kadre Gray took his game to another level this season.

That’s saying something.

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A year ago, Gray was the top Canadian university male athlete in any sport, the first Laurentian student to win the honour.

He led the country in assists, narrowly missed a scoring title, and — perhaps by default — also won the Mike Moser Memorial Trophy as men’s basketball player of the year.

“Kadre’s work ethic continues to shine bright,” said Laurentian head coach Shawn Swords in a statement.

“He is always looking for ways to improve and refine all aspects of the game.”

If there was any doubt, Gray stifled it in his junior season.

He averaged 31 points, 7.4 rebounds and 6.2 assists per game en route to his second consecutive Moser trophy.

“It’s an amazing accomplishment to do it once,” said Swords.

“And now, to be named MVP twice, is truly a testament to his willingness to learn and improve.

“The Kadre effect has spread throughout our community as well. It is great to see him support our local youth and realize the positive impact he has on everyone.”

Gray received the 2019 Moser trophy Thursday at a gala in Halifax, N.S., ahead of the U Sports Men’s Final 8 tournament.

University of Calgary guard Mambi Diawara, Concordia guard Ricardo Monge and St. Mary’s University guard Kemar Alleyne were also finalists for the award.

Gray was simply a cut above. He posted gaudy stats with notable efficiency, shooting 48.8 per cent from the floor.

He was also a First Team All-Canadian and played with Canada’s national team in FIBA World Cup 2019 Americas Qualifiers against Venezuela and Brazil.

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Gray was the only U Sports player to participate in the qualifiers.

Other award winners:

Rookie of the Year (Dr. Peter Mullins Trophy): Alix Lochard, UQAM.

Ken Shields Award for Student-Athlete Community Service: Tanner Graham, Queen’s.

Defensive Player of the Year: Marcus Anderson, Carleton.

Stuart W. Aberdeen Memorial Trophy (Coach of the Year): Dan Vanhooren, Calgary.

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Carleton Ravens reclaim OUA Basketball Supremacy

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Carleton Ravens Reclaim Oua Basketball Supremacy Team Championship Banner
Photo: Edilson J. Silva/BasketballBuzz

The road to Ontario University Basketball supremacy has been firmly cemented through the Carleton University Ravens.

The Canadian basketball powerhouse has continuously dominated the toughest conference in the country year-in, year out, earning eleven (11) conference titles in Dave Smart’s 19 seasons as head coach.

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Recently, the Ryerson Rams have threaten to end the Ravens dominance, earning the first non Carleton Ravens’ back-to-back (2016, 2017) conference titles since Joe Raso and the McMaster Marauders pulled it off in 1996 and 1997. Furthermore, despite the Ravens dominance of the Rams, they have managed to beat Carleton and win meaningfully games in March.

Ryerson, playing in their fourth straight Ontario University Association (OUA) conference championship game — a feat that not even the Ravens have accomplished, were looking for their third conference title in four years, having cut down the mesh at the Ravens’ Nest to win their second straight conference banner two years ago.

Add to the fact that Ryerson ended the Ravens hopes of a perfect season, pulling off a 78-74 road win less than five weeks ago and we once again had the ingredients for another great game.

Carleton Ravens Reclaim Oua Basketball Supremacy Yasiin Joseph Floater Over Tanor Ngom Ryerson Rams

Carleton Ravens Guard Yasiin Joseph drops a floater over 6’11” Tanor Ngom of the Ryerson Rams – Photo: Edilson J. Silva/BasketballBuzz

“Coming into game we put a lot of focus in practice on limiting their key players and making it tough for them.” discussed Ravens’ point guard Yasiin Joseph after the Ravens executed their game-plan to perfection, beating the Ryerson Rams 81-61 to reclaiming Wilson Cup supremacy with their second straight conference title.

Carleton ripped off 12-0 run and held the Rams scoreless for over four minutes to grab 25-18 lead after one quarter. Ravens starting back-court of Yasiin Joseph (20 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists) and Munis Tutu (16 points, 6 assists, 2 rebounds) both played outstanding, controlling the offense and were great on the boards.

“Ryerson is a tough team and you have to be prepared. We made some adjustments from the previous game that helped us come on top.” Also commented Tutu, a Windsor, Ontario native who is looking for his first national title with the Ravens after falling short to the Rams in the national semi-final game.

Carleton Ravens Reclaim Oua Basketball Supremacy Munis Tutu OUA Wilson Cup

Carleton Ravens Munis Tutu pulls down a rebound at 2019 OUA Wilson Cup – Photo: Edilson J. Silva/BasketballBuzz

Now three games away from potentially tasting national glory, Tutu understands the importance of staying focused and trusting the plan. “It’s going to be difficult, we are going to put in a tough week of practice, and prepare for our next opponent and try to bring the championship back to Ottawa.”

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Eddie Ekiyor continued his All-Canadian campaign with 16 points and 6 rebounds in 22 minutes. TJ Lall returned from his one game suspension and almost had a perfect game with 10 points, 7 rebounds on 5-of-6 shooting.

Both teams shot poorly from the three-point line going a combined 8-of-49 (16%). Carleton limited the Rams offense to just seven assists and had fairly comfortable +17 (43-26) advantage on the glass.

Ryerson Rams Head Coach Roy Rana Vs.Carleton Ravens 2019 OUA Basketball Wilson Cup

Ryerson Rams Head Coach Roy Rana rounds up his troops – Photo: Edilson J. Silva/BasketballBuzz

6’11” Tanor Ngom continued to showcase his upside leading Ryerson in scoring with 15 points and four rebounds including a few exciting dunks for the standing room only, capacity crowd. JV Mukama was largely held in check and finished with 12 points and 8 rebounds including 0-7 from three-point shooting. Myles Charvis started off hot, but cooled down considerably, scoring 8 of his 10 points in the first quarter in 34 minutes.

Carleton won their first OUA conference basketball title of the Dave Smart era in his fourth year and they went on to three-peat on two occasions, from 2003-2005 and again from 2008-2010. They also took home top honors in 2011, 2013, 2015, 2018 and now once again 2019.

The only years the Ravens have failed to win the national title as conference champions were in 2008 when they lost to the Acadia Axemen, 2010 against Saskatchewan and recently against Ryerson in 2018.

The Ravens are now the odds on favorites to earn the top seed at next weeks Final 8 National Championships in Halifax, Nova Scotia — a place where they have won 8 of their record 13 national titles.

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