WATERLOO, ON–Heading into the first OUA Final Four semi-final game between Ryerson and the #2-ranked team in the country Lakehead, it seemed like home court advantage for the Rams due to their hooligan contingent supporting them every second of the contest.
If there was a sixth man of this game, it certainly belonged to the hooligans.
Ryerson freshman stud, Aaron Best who dropped a game-high 26 points had this to say about the team’s crowd support.
“It felt like a home game…I looked up and all I saw was yellow,” Best told NPH.
Jahmal Jones who has been a cornerstone to the growth of the Rams continued, “I think it’s great that a lot of people came out, it’s good for the program. If they made an effort to come out here and support us, we had to perform at a high level.”
Jones also posted a great game with 18 points and seven assists.
The Rams opened up the game sizzling, a theme that was sustained throughout the contest ending with 55% FG shooting versus a struggling 35%.
The night belonged to the Rams, who have matured as a team all season, progressively improving their chemistry, execution and overall play. Although many counted them out going up against #2 in the nation, the Rams knew exactly what they came to do in Waterloo.
“Coach told us this wasn’t really an underdog situation for us at this time of the year…everybody that is here deserves to be here; we just tried to be the aggressor from the start of the game.”
Ryerson pounced on Lakehead from the jump opening the game with a 10-0 run and ending the quarter with the Thunderwolves in the hole, 27-11.
Although Best and Jones were extremely impressive, it was a collective effort with Bjorn Michaelsen and Jordon Gauthier also contributing in a big way. Michaelsen 17 points, six rebounds while Gauthier put up 15 and eight.
“It shows that with a semi-healthy roster, we’re a very dangerous team…I think attending nationals is going to help us grow into one of the top teams in the country, it’s our opportunity to show out,” said Jones.
The only bright spot for Lakehead was Venzell Russell, who paced the Thunderwolves with a double-double of 23 points, 12 rebounds.
Even with the loss, this #2-ranked Lakehead team will more than likely earn a bid to the CIS national championships in Nova Scotia as a wildcard.
However, what’s for certain is that the Ryerson Rams will be joining them for the first time since 1998-1999 and the second time in school history!
Ryerson vs Carleton (#1 team in the nation) is tonight at 8PM for Wilson Cup Championship!
NPH National Scout, tracking Canada's TOP prospects from high school to the NBA. With a genuine passion for the game, you will find Sbiet in the bleachers of most major tournaments and events across Canada & the United States -- Discovering talent from coast-to-coast, while absorbing knowledge at every opportunity. Sbiet has covered the game at every level, combining a basketball and media background with a degree in Media & Journalism from the University of Guelph-Humber.
*Inspiration is the spark plug to success*