The no. 5 nationally ranked Ryerson Rams outlasted the no. 3 ranked uOttawa Gee-Gees in overtime and, thanks in part to a 32 points performance by Adika Peter-McNeilly, claimed a 94-88 win at Montpetit Hall in Ottawa.
Ottawa had the final possession of regulation time and 10.2 seconds to set up. Brandon Robinson, who made multiple clutch three-pointers down the stretch as the teams jockeyed for positioning, rose up through heavy traffic at the hoop but was unable to finish and the teams
headed into overtime at 78-78.
Peter-McNeilly scored Ryerson’s final points in regulation from the free throw line, going 2-for-2.
Ryerson scored on its opening two possessions of the extra frame and crucially went 7-for8 from the free throw line while building to the final score. Ottawa had an emotional setback when fifth-year senior Matt Plunkett went down with an injury with 3:20 to play.
Peter-McNeilly powered the Rams early on, scoring 16 of Ryerson’s first 24 points, mixing baseline drives with fall-away threes. Later, Ammanuel Diressa asserted himself – he finished with 28 points and was 11-for-12 from the free throw line.
It was all Ottawa in the first quarter, with the Gee-Gees holding Ryerson to eight points in the opening ten minutes. Ottawa still led, 41-36, at halftime but Ryerson had chipped away throughout the second quarter.
That set up a back and forth second half with Ryerson taking its first lead at 44-42 with 7:30 to play in the third. The Ram advantage eventually grew to 68-61 before Ottawa staged a dramatic comeback to retake the lead at 72-71.
Adam Presutti, Matt Plunkett, and Brandon Robinson each hit deep threes while Presutti made a pivotal drive to the hoop, curling around the defence to the left side. Brody was the constant scoring threat for Ottawa throughout the game and fought hard for loose balls, earning key offensive possessions down the stretch.
Maracle and Jean Emmanuel Pierre-Charles tied for the Gee-Gees team lead with 16 points apiece with Pierre-Charles grabbing ten rebounds.
“We hung in there playing the track meet style as the game wore on – we’re fairly comfortable that kind of game but that’s where they are at their absolute best,” said Gee-Gees head coach James Derouin. “After the first they picked us up full court and that changed the game.”
Ottawa will certainly look back at the stat sheet and wonder about its 10-29 performance from the free throw line.