MEN'S BASKETBALL ROUNDUP: Ryerson takes care of Queen's in playoff opener

MEN'S BASKETBALL ROUNDUP: Ryerson takes care of Queen's in playoff opener
Wednesday, February 19

Queen's 76 @ Ryerson 86

TORONTO – The No. 8 Ryerson Rams men’s basketball team booked their ticket to Ottawa for the OUA east semifinal with an 86-76 victory over the Queen’s Gaels in the opening round of the playoffs on Wednesday night at the Mattamy Athletic Centre.

Five different Rams scored in double figures including a game-high 20 points from Jahmal Jones (Mississauga, Ont.) to lead Ryerson to the victory.

Having faced each other in the final regular season game just four days ago, there was familiarity and no hesitation from either team to attack the opposition’s defence right out of the gate.

Queen’s had the upper hand to start the game as they held a three point advantage four minutes into the game but the Rams offence began to heat up in the latter stages of the quarter. Bjorn Michaelsen (Otterburn Park, Que.) finished a great pass from Jones to give the Rams a 21-16 lead at the end of the first.

The Gaels opened the second quarter on an 11-4 run to take a 27-25 lead with 6:05 remaining in the half and force a Ryerson timeout. The Rams regrouped out of the break and took the lead right back and Ryerson never trailed from that point on. At the half the Rams were up 38-33.

Both teams heated up from three point territory in the third and Sukhpreet Singh (Toronto) and Adika Peter-McNeilly (Scarborough, Ont.) exchanged three point baskets on four straight possessions but the Rams continued to lead 51-41. Ryerson finished the quarter outscoring the Gaels by ten and held a 67-52 advantage through 30 minutes of play.

Ryerson led by as many as 20 in the fourth quarter but with their season on the line the Gaels never let up and some key three pointers helped them close the gap to eight points at 80-72 with 1:50 remaining. Four straight points from Jones helped suppress the Gaels’ attack and opened the cushion back up to 12 points. Ryerson hung on from there to take the 86-76 victory.

In addition to Jones, Peter-McNeilly finished with 17 points while Aaron Best (Scarborough, Ont.) and Kadeem Green (Markham, Ont.) each added 13. Jordon Gauthier (Windsor, Ont.) also reached double digits with ten points in the win.

Roshane Roberts (Vaughan, Ont.) had a game-high 20 points while Nikola Misljencevic (Ottawa, Ont.) added 19 and Singh finished with 14 in the loss for the Gaels.

Ryerson head coach Roy Rana was pleased with his team’s effort on Wednesday but also knows the Rams need to keep playing consistent basketball to have a successful playoff run.

“Down the stretch we made some very good decisions, I thought we played unselfishly. They gave us a good game but that’s what playoff basketball is all about; we got the win and that’s the most important thing.”

“I think it says a lot about these guys,” Rana said about his team’s effort and the result. “Four years in a row now to get to this stage and go beyond. They’ve been pretty consistent in their effort and performance and it’s a good result for us tonight.”

With tonight’s victory the Rams will face the Ottawa Gee-Gees on Saturday night in Ottawa with a berth to the Wilson Cup on the line.

“We’re just two teams that (it) always comes down to us or them, really, when it comes to getting to the Final Four. In my first year we sent them home, in my second year they sent us home so now it’s just a matter of...doing the little things to put ourselves in a position to win,” said Aaron Best following the game.

Saturday’s game is scheduled for 8:00 p.m. and you can be there to cheer on the Rams! Stay tuned to for information on the Fan Bus heading to Ottawa!

Source: Ryerson Sports Info

Western 68 @ Lakehead 65

The men's basketball team failed to extend their season on Wednesday evening, losing their first round playoff game to Western, 68-65.

It was a great battle for fans to watch, as both teams gave it their all, Western leading 34-31 at the half. Lakehead was able to slow down Peter Scholtes, but failed to get much going on the interior themselves. Dwayne Harvey sat for 14 minutes of the first half with 2 fouls.

Jamar Coke carried the offensive load for the 'Wolves in the first half, scoring 9 points (2 three's and a three-point play), while Quinn Henderson hit 3 long-range bombs for 9 first half points as well.

Lakehead managed to break loose from the Mustangs' defense in the third quarter, putting up 24 points and leading 55-50 with 10 minutes to play.

The 'Wolves would seem to be closing the door on the visitors as the 4th quarter crept by. But Western hung around, and with the score 65-60, Lakehead would fail to capitalize on an open lay-up, and Western returned down the floor with a 3-point play to make it a 2-point game again with under 3 minutes to play. Lakehead wouldn't score again, and Western's Quinn Henderson gave his team a 1-point lead courtesy of a three-ball with under a minute to play.

Jamar Coke scored 15 points on the game, with 7 rebounds, 4 steals and 2 blocked shots. 5th year Justin Bell finishes his CIS career, and scored 6 points with 3 rebounds and an assist in his final game.

Greg Morrow was the scoring leader for the Mustangs, putting up 14 points with 3 steals.

Coach Matt Erdman:

"It's a tough pill to swallow having a lead and letting it slip away at the very end. Considering we shot 50% from the floor, it was the 20 turnovers that killed us. I'm proud of this group and feel bad it ended like this. We have built a great foundation moving forward and regardless of how it feels right now, these guys did a great job in a very tough situation this year."

Source: Lakehead Sports Info

Guelph 83 @ Laurier 94

WATERLOO, Ont. (February 19, 2014) - Thanks to big nights from Will Coulthard of Oakville, Ont., Max Allin of Chatham, Ont., and Jack Simmons of Cambridge, Ont., the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks men's basketball team advanced to the OUA West semifinals with a 94-83 win over the Guelph Gryphons on Wednesday night at the Athletic Complex.

For Laurier, the win represented their first playoff victory in three years as the Golden Hawks had been eliminated in the opening round of the OUA playoffs for the past two seasons, including a loss on home court to the same Gryphons two years ago.

"It was nice, we needed that," said Allin, who was playing his final home game as a Golden Hawk. "We worked too hard all year to get the third spot and to throw it away like that [in the past], we couldn't do that so we're ready for Saturday."

"I loved it here for the last five years," added Allin. "Going out on a good note like this is a good finish."

Allin joined Coulthard and Simmons to pace a white-hot Laurier offence that finished the game shooting over 47 percent from the field. The fifth year guard had a double-double of 23 points and 13 rebounds while Coulthard scored a game high 28 points. Simmons, a rookie forward playing in his first career playoff game, joined his teammates in eclipsing the 20-point plateau as he poured in 21 points to go along with four rebounds.

"If we can push the ball, Max and Will get a lot of shots, and that opens up my shots," said Simmons on his success against Guelph. "When those guys are playing well, I get a lot of open shots and easy layups, easy dunks, which makes it easy for me."

As for the Gryphons, Zachary Angus of Burlington, Ont., was their most dangerous player finishing with 21 points and five rebounds.

In what was a close game early on, the Hawks used a big second quarter to create some separation from the Gryphons on the scoreboard. Laurier dropped 30 points on Guelph in the second frame to take a 48-36 lead into half time.

The Hawks continued to score the ball in the second half, as they added 25 points in the third quarter before cruising to their first home playoff win since an 80-72 win over Guelph back in 2011.

With the victory, the purple and gold now advance to the OUA West semifinals where they will face the No. 7 Windsor Lancers.

"We have to compete," commented Allin on what Laurier will need to do against Windsor, an opponent they've lost twice to this season. "We have to hit our shots, we have to knock it down at the free throw line and we have to play fearless."

Laurier will travel to Windsor on Saturday, Febraury 22 for a 4 p.m. tipoff at the St. Denis Centre.

Source: Laurier Sports Info

York 85 @ Laurentian 86

The Laurentian Voyageurs Men’s basketball team were at the Ben Avery on Wednesday evening playing in their first post-season game against the York Lions. The men stood in fourth of the OUA East at the end of the regular season, earning themselves a home game in the first round of playoffs. The Voyageurs were coming off a tough weekend in Ottawa, and needed a strong performance on Wednesday to beat the Lions and earn themselves a spot in the OUA East Semi-Final.

Despite slow first and fourth quarters, the Voyageurs were able to earn the win in a nail-bitting 86-85 game. Voyageur Tychon Carter-Newman (Brampton, ON) came out big for the home team. He was a crucial element for Laurentian all game, putting up 24 points and being the game-changer late in the fourth.

The Voyageurs got off to a slow start in the first quarter. The men were unable to create much offensively, and York took control of the game early on. The Lions created a gap between themselves and the home team, handily outscoring Laurentian in the opening minutes. The Voyageurs eventually got into their rhythm and were able to get back within 6 of the Lions before the end of the quarter.  Trailing the Lions 21-27 at the end of the first, the Voyageurs needed to step up their game offensively to give themselves a chance of overtaking the Lions.

The first break proved to be beneficial for the Voyageurs. The men came out stronger in the second quarter and got out of the hole they had dug themselves. Strong offense by Carter-Newman, Ryan Bennett (Toronto, ON) and Alex Ratte (Ottawa, ON) helped the Voyageurs cut the Lions’ lead to 4 halfway through the quarter. Two steals by Laurentian gave them the spark they needed, and the home team had it tied up with a few minutes left in the second. Carter-Newman would get the tie-breaking basket to put his team up by two, which was followed by Ratte’s buzzer-beating three pointer to end the half with Laurentian leading York 45-40.

Despite leaving the Ben Avery abuzz at the end of the first half, the Voyageurs weren’t able to bring their momentum back onto the court to start the second. After a few lackluster plays by Laurentian, Carter-Newman and Gherick Uneau (Ste Rose) were subbed back onto the court. The changes helped the Voyageurs put up a few quick points to get back into their rhythm. The rest of the third showed similarities to the second, as the Voyageurs continued to dominate offensively, further extending their lead and outscoring the Lions 26-18. The teams headed into the final quarter with a score of 71-58 in favour of Laurentian.

The fourth quarter was similar to the first for the Voyageurs. The men were unable to score and after a few too many turnovers and missed shots for the Voyageurs, the Lions    started to chip away at the Voyageurs’ lead. Laurentian’ offense was stagnant and York took full advantage of that, quickly tying up the game before taking the lead with little time left in the game.

With 5 seconds remaining the Voyageurs were down by one, however they didn’t let the Lions take the game that easily. Carter-Newman would get a lay-up off the inbounds to take the lead and, after being fouled in the attempt, had a chance to push the lead to 2 with 4 seconds remaining. After his shot rimmed out, the Lions' Nick Tufegdzich grabbed the rebound and tried feverishly to call a time-out which, in FIBA rules, can only be awarded on a dead ball.  As a result, the clock ticked down to zero and the Voyageurs got the W in a close 86-85 OUA East Quarter-Final."

The Voyageurs will be heading to Ottawa to face the number one ranked Carleton Ravens in the OUA East Semi-Final. The game will take place at the Ravens Nest on Saturday evening. Come out and support your Voyageurs in their second playoff game of the 2013-2014 season.

Source: Laurentian Sports Info

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