The Ryerson men’s basketball team came up short at the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) championship on the weekend, losing to the Carleton Ravens 84-80 in the OUA semifinals.
The team then lost again in the bronze medal game, falling to the University of Ottawa Gee-Gees by a score of 79-66.
In their much-anticipated game against Carleton, the Rams held a three point lead going into the fourth quarter but faltered down the stretch, allowing the experienced Ravens to take over the game in the final minutes.
Ryerson had no answer for OUA first-team all-star Thomas Scrubb inside as the fifth-year player scored a game-high 31 points to go along with 12 rebounds for the double-double.
Fellow OUA first-team all-star and fifth-year player Jahmal Jones carried the Rams from the opening tip, getting clutch baskets and creating opportunities for his teammates.
Jones had a team-high 28 points and five assists in defeat, while Aaron Best chipped in with 20 points and six rebounds.
Ryerson head coach Roy Rana says it was a tough loss to take.
“I think our guys are really disappointed because they really believed they could win,” he said.
Rana said the difference in the game was the late stages of the fourth quarter.
“I thought we did a good job for three and a half quarters but we blew some coverages late that hurt us.”
The Rams were in charge of the game until a 10-0 Ravens run late in the fourth quarter gave Carleton a six-point lead, which Ryerson couldn’t fight back from.
Rana says the focus now shifts to the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) Final 8.
“We still have life because we’re hosting the final eight. We know our road to a national championship will have to go through Carleton, Ottawa, and even Windsor.”
Windsor upset Ottawa in the other OUA semifinal, setting up the clash between the host Gee-Gees and Ryerson to determine third and fourth place.
Ryerson led the game 32-31 at halftime on the strength of eight points and two blocks from centre Kadeem Green.
But Johnny Berhanemeskel would take over the game in the second half for Ottawa. The OUA player of the year scored a game-high 39 points, highlighted by 11 unanswered in the third quarter, to give the Gee-Gees the lead.
Berhanemeskel was on fire, going 15-19 from the field and 4-5 from the three point line in a dominating performance.
Adika Peter-McNeilly and Jahmal Jones led the way for the Rams with 13 points each. Peter-McNeilly also added a team-high of eight rebounds and six assists.
The Rams leave Ottawa empty handed and now look forward to next weekend’s Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) Final 8 for a chance at redemption.