Game Recap Laurentian at Ryerson

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Top performers:

Georges Serresse (Laurentian): 17 points, 6 rebounds, 2 steals

Ola Adegboruwa (Ryerson): 15 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals

TORONTO, ON – The Ryerson Rams dominated the visiting Laurentian Voyageurs by a final score of 84-70 on Friday night.

The Rams (7-9) had told NPH after the loss against Toronto that good teams rebound from tough losses. This is just what the team did against Laurentian (6-10) who, despite its four-game losing streak entering the game, was still tied for fourth in the OUA East division with Ryerson and Ottawa.

Ryerson newcomer Ola Adegboruwa explained that it was important for his teammates “to forget the (Toronto) game. This game was just as, if not even more, important than the game (on Wednesday).” He was pleased with how his teammates responded after the crushing defeat.

Both coaches believed that there was no extra motivation after Ryerson narrowly beat Laurentian earlier this month. Ryerson head coach Roy Rana begin_of_the_skype_highlighting     end_of_the_skype_highlighting believes that motivation should be easy to find for players, as “we’re all fighting for a playoff spot right now.”

Laurentian head coach Shawn Swords said that, “I think you need to get motivated for every game. You need to show up for every game, especially road games like (last night).”

The game was different from the Rams game two nights earlier – a defensive struggle against the rival Toronto Varsity Blues – in many ways, as both teams shot the ball very well in the first quarter.

Third-year Voyageurs forward Georges Serresse dominated the first quarter and scored 15 of his team’s 24 points in that first period. For the rest of the game however, Serresse could manage only two points.

“He’s a pretty dangerous offensive player. We were aware of him. He can shoot threes, he’s athletic,” said Rana in praising Serresse. “He’s a good player. I think mixing up the defenses in the second half had a good impact.”

Swords explained that Georges “was on fire” in the first quarter. “Then, his shots just stopped to fall and (Ryerson) did a good job,” said Swords.

2RyersonplayersdefendaLaurentianjumper.jpgAdegboruwa, last night’s “‘Hero Burger’ Hero of the Game,” countered with nine points in the initial quarter. The Rams, however, started to assert themselves shortly after and took a 53-43 halftime lead.

In the second half, Ryerson maintained a healthy lead and, though the Voyageurs did manage to cut it down to less than 10, the outcome of the game was never much in doubt.

“It was a good win, not a great game. But, it was an important win for us after the (Toronto) loss,” said Rana. He was especially pleased with his team’s offensive effort as they shot about 60% from the field, including 46% of their three-point attempts.

“In the end, it was more their inability to stop us than it was ours to stop them,” explained the Rams head coach.

Swords echoed Rana’s thoughts when he said that, “Our defense was bad probably for 30 minutes of the game.”

Swords also spoke of his team’s recent slide, Laurentian having now lost their past 5 games. “(Morale) is the same as any other team in this situation. They’re a little bit frustrated.” The Voyageurs head coach explained that a couple of close defeats (e.g. against Ryerson and Ottawa) in their recent slide have been hard to digest.

“It starts to get into your mind a little, but you (need to) keep working hard and fighting,” said Swords.

There were other keys to the Rams victory, besides a good offensive effort.

“I think we closed out (better) on the shooters in the second half and we held the Pasquale brothers in check, which was huge,” said Rana. “They are usually the engine that drives that team.”

Injuries were also a factor in the Laurentian loss as the team was missing starter Mike Hull and his 15-points-per-game average. Yet, Swords told NPH that injuries shouldn’t be brought up as excuses. Each team has to deal with them over the course of a season; case in point, big men Matthew Lapointe and Bjorn Michaelsen are still missing for the Rams.

Offensively, Ryerson was led by Adegboruwa (15 points), Jahmal Jones (17), Jordon Gauthier and Jelane Pryce (12).

Four Laurentian players (i.e. Serresse, Manny and Isiah Pasquale and Shavaan Sheldon) also scored in double figures. They got little help from other players as the rest of the team scored only nine points.

Adegboruwa said the team is “taking it one game at the time” until the end of the season. “The goal is to move into third place for now and get to the playoffs,” said the Ryerson guard.

After the game, Rana had but one wish. “I’m hoping York goes into four overtimes tonight against (Toronto).”

While it did not, the Lions still lost the game, 71-58. He most likely will settle for that result, a hated rival beating the team ahead of his in the standings.

Follow Charles Blouin-Gascon begin_of_the_skype_highlighting     end_of_the_skype_highlighting on Twitter @CeeeBG

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