Photo by Timothy Austen

Rams win rematch against No. 1 Ravens

By Luke Bellus

OTTAWA - With 52 seconds left in the game and the Rams down by two, Filip Vujadinovic grabbed a rebound and the Rams went up the court with the ball in Myles Charvis’ hands.

This would be the moment that would define the game; Charvis gave the ball to Jean-Victor Mukama and he was going to make a play one way or another. Mukama pounded the ball, pulled up and made a three giving Ryerson a one-point lead with 30 seconds left in the game.

The Rams would have to sweat out those final thirty seconds but were able to hold off Carleton and escape the Ravens' Nest with a 78-74 win.

It’s a matchup that is always highly anticipated, two of the best teams in the country going head to head with potential playoff implications on the line.

In recent years Ryerson has established themselves as a favourite in the OUA, winning back-to-back titles in 2016 and 2017. Their success in the OUA has translated to some deep runs at the national tournament, but ultimately, they haven’t been able to grab that national title they have so desperately been chasing.

Carleton, on the other hand, has dominated this country for well over a decade. Coached by Dave Smart the Ravens have won 13 of the last 16 U SPORTS (formerly CIS) national titles. It’s a run that any program or professional team would dream of, but the thing that is remarkable about the Ravens is that regardless of the cast, year in and year out they show up and win.

But not tonight. For a while this looked like a typical Rams vs. Ravens regular season game. The two teams trading punches until Ryerson misses one shot and Carleton lands body blow after body blow to stun the Rams and knock them out.

In a game of momentum swings Ryerson got a big one to end the first half. Trailing by six with 2:36 in the second quarter the Rams flipped a switch ending the half on a 10-0 run while forcing the Ravens to miss five consecutive shots over those final 2:36.

Ryerson took a four-point lead into the half and got that lead up to 15 points midway through the third quarter of action. But the Ravens - just like the Rams - showed why they’re one of the best teams in the country and closed out the quarter on a run of their own.

By the time the fourth quarter came around the Rams lead was down to five, and that lead was gone just minutes into the final quarter of play. With 5:51 to play in the fourth Carleton’s Isiah Osborne made a three to give the Ravens a 66-61 lead capping off the 28-8 run for the Ravens over an 8:24 stretch between the third and fourth quarter.

Ryerson would chip their way back into the game, giving them a chance to win the game in the final minute, thanks to the Mukama three and a few defensive stops. The Rams and Ravens now both sit at 17-1 on the season.

Ryerson was led by Mukama with 25 points on the night. Myles Charvis scored 21 in the win, while Yusuf Ali was the only other Rams player in double digits with 12 points. Ali made some crucial free throws in the final moments to seal the win.

Ryerson will be back in action Friday, Feb. 1 when they take on the Toronto Varsity Blues.

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