Ryerson’s #10 Filip Vujadinovic
(TORONTO, ON)—The #5 nationally-ranked Ryerson Rams (3-0) survived a shaky start Saturday against a young Waterloo squad, eventually cruising to a 96-86 victory at the Mattamy Athletic Centre.
Coming off a big road win against #8-ranked McMaster, the Rams appeared to have carried momentum into the game, with Adika Peter-McNeilly (4th-year, Scarborough, Ont.) connecting with Filip Vujadinovic (2nd-year, Burlington, Ont.) for the first-blood alley-oop.
“I try. Just something to get the crowd going, get our team going, get the juices flowing,” said Peter-McNeilly, who previously displayed his knack for the highlight-reel play with a fourth-quarter dunk to help seal the Marauders’ fate Wednesday. “Teams might focus on me more, but if they do, I’ma just kick it out and let other guys start it.”
Ryerson’s #21 Adika Peter-McNeilly
Peter-McNeilly led the Rams’ charge with 22 points, 12 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 steals, with four other players — Vujadinovic (17 pts, 9 reb, 2 blk), Juwon Grannum (14 pts, 5 reb, 3 stl), Ammanuel Diressa (20 pts, 9 reb, 5 ast) and Roshane Roberts (12 pts, 5 ast)— reaching double digits in scoring.
But while the Rams were lighting it up on the offensive side of the ball, they struggled defensively from the get-go — allowing the Warriors (0-4) to grab 13 offensive boards. More importantly, they had key defensive lapses that allowed Waterloo to gain a 23-22 lead by the end of the first quarter, and foul trouble (all five starters finished with at least 3 personal fouls) that allowed the Warriors to shrink a 21-point lead to just 7 during the fourth.
“We weren’t really happy about how we played defence,” said Diressa (3rd-year, Toronto), who played 38 minutes. “There were times in the game where we locked up and played a little better, but overall we weren’t happy with our defence at all.”
Waterloo’s #7 Ben Davis lines up against Ryerson’s #4 Ammanuel Diressa
The Warriors were led by fourth-year guard Ben Davis (Mississauga, Ont.), whose 33 points, 7 rebounds and four steals kept the pace for a team that had four players foul out.
“We kept coming out in spurts; we need to be more consistent,” said Davis. “[In our games vs. Toronto and Ryerson] we just got to see where we are, and obviously where other teams are. We have a young team, we have a bunch of rookies and it’s a process.”
The Warriors will close out 2015 with three straight games at home: vs. Laurier (Nov. 21), York (Nov. 27) and Queen’s (Nov. 28). Meanwhile, the Rams will finish the year on the road with tilts with Windsor (Nov. 18) and #7-ranked Western (Nov. 20).
Photos by Charles Vanegas
Edited by Drew Ebanks