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The Ryerson Rams men’s basketball team moved to 3-0 on Wednesday night, defeating the Western Mustangs 81-47 at the Mattamy Athletic Centre for its home opener.
The Rams did it in front of a packed crowd that included a few familiar faces. Greivis Vasquez of the Toronto Raptors attended the game, as did former Raptors general manager Bryan Colangelo and two-time NBA champion Bill Walton.
The Rams didn’t disappoint. They finished the first quarter down 15-14 and were tied at 21 early in the second quarter. It was at this moment Ryerson started to flex its muscles. The team went on a 17-0 run to take a 38-21 lead and never looked back.
Ryerson would outscore the Mustangs 43-23 in the second half, leading to its third victory of the season by more than 30 points.
Still, the Rams think they could have played even better. Jordon Gauthier, a fifth-year guard for Ryerson, led the team with 19 points. He said the Rams didn’t execute well enough.
“We missed a few assignments … We were sloppy on offence at times,” said Gauthier. “What separates the upper echelon teams from the lower guys is the fact that, when things aren’t going your way, you can still win by 30.”
The Rams have now won all three of their games by 30-plus points, winning their first two by 33 points and Wednesday by 34. In the process, they’ve given up only 51.7 points per game, which is first in the nation.
Wednesday, they held the Mustangs to a 30 per cent shooting percentage, including just 25 per cent (seven for 28) in the second half.
On Saturday night, the Rams take on the Windsor Lancers, which will be their first true test of the year. The Lancers are ranked fourth in the country and will be looking to end the Rams’ winning streak.
Colangelo, who watched the game court side, says he believes the Rams have what it takes to go all the way this year.
“They’ve got a very high level of talent and they have great coaching,” said Colangelo. “Those two things combined should bode well for the program.”
The Rams-Lancers game Saturday night will be at the Mattamy Athletic Centre.