Ryerson Rams prove they still run the 6, beat U of T 85-84

By November 6, 2015December 12th, 2015No Comments


TORONTO—The OUA season kicked off Wednesday with an epic crosstown battle at the Mattamy Athletic Centre that came down to the final play, with Ryerson’s Juwon Grannum (4th-year, Mississauga, Ont.) finishing a fast-break layup with nine seconds left to put the Rams up 85-84 over the University of Toronto Varsity Blues.

“Coach said ‘get two guys on the ball. Be very active.’ JP [Kambola] beside me, he got the deflection, ball came to Roshe and I just ran,” said Grannum, who also scored the Rams next-to-last basket off an offensive rebound. “I knew if I got the ball I had to finish it.”

After ending the Varsity Blues previous scoring drive with an interception off an inbound, new Ram Roshane Roberts (2nd-year, Vaughan, Ont.) matched it with another steal to seal the victory.


Ryerson’s Adika Peter-McNeilly with the rock

With most analysts picking them to once again run away with the OUA East division, the Rams looked sluggish at times, allowing U of T to get back into the game — getting blown out 27-11 in the third quarter — after leading by as much as 15.

After missing five three-pointers in the first half, Devon Williams (1st-year, Sharon, Mass.) hit 7 of 10 from beyond the arc to lead the surge.

“We shot the ball very badly in the third quarter and they got really hot … We protected the paint but they just made a lot of threes,” said Rams interim head coach Patrick Tatham.


U of T’s Sage Usher(12pts 6 rebs) surveys the Rams defence.

Tatham attributed the comeback to the resilience of veterans like Jean-Victor Mukama ( 3rd year, Hamilton, On) and Adika Peter-McNeilly (4th-year, Scarborough, Ont.), who led the team in points (25), assists (6) and rebounds (8).

“Adika and J.V. answered the bell. They really [did.] I think that’s [continued] momentum from nationals. Our goal this year is to protect home court, and that’s what we did tonight.”

The #5 nationally-ranked Rams were without captain Aaron Best (5th-year, Scarborough, Ont.) and third-year forward Adam Voll (Kitchener, Ont.), and often the pieces didn’t seem to gel, a point stressed by Mukama , who fouled out in the fourth quarter.

“One thing we need to fix — especially after losing our strong core of veterans in Jahmal [Jones], Bjorn [Michaelsen] and Jordon [Gauthier] — is the chemistry. We have a lot of new guys, a lot of young guys, said Mukama. “I feel like we played a bad game, but I’ll give them credit – they played great – but right now the chemistry needs to get back together. Next time we come back home, it’ll be a better win.”

The rematch —the second leg of the BIA Cup, awarded to the aggregate winner of the annual downtown series — is set for Nov. 28 at the Goldring Centre


Ryerson’s JP Kambola(opts, 6rebs) signals the three

Up next, Ryerson will head to Hamilton Nov. 11 to take on the #8-ranked McMaster Marauders, while U of T will host the Waterloo Warriors.

Edited by Drew Ebanks

Photos by Charles Vanegas

By Charles Vanegas (Twitter: @charlesvanegas, Instagram: @charlesvanegas

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