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Crazy finish sees Rams upset Gee-Gees

Saturday January 23, 2016
Richard A. Whittaker

The Ryerson Rams broke up the undefeated regular season of the Gee-Gees men’s basketball team, taking an 87-80 win in Toronto on Saturday night. Ryerson scored the final five points of the game from the free throw line, moving its record to 8-1.

A frantic final two minutes saw the teams fight desperately for control of the scoreboard. The teams traded threes and Vikas Gill highlighted the series for Ottawa with a quick release on an inbound pass which made it 80-80.

Ammanuel Diressa was the difference maker for Ryerson. The guard came off the bench to score a game high 29 points, 21 of which came in the second half. Diressa made a pair of acrobatic layups in the final minute to continue to push the Rams out in front.

When J.V. Mukama picked the pocket of Mike L’Africain as he tried to work his way into the paint for Ottawa with 30 seconds left to play, the ball squirted into the hands of Diressa. He drew an intentional foul while sprinting down the court. Ottawa was forced to foul on the ensuing possession and it was Diressa who made both free throws to ensure the victory.

Ottawa struggled until that late flurry of threes came, shooting 11-34 from long distance for the game. The Gee-Gees went inside to Nathan McCarthy and Brody Maracle for 21 points combined but the defensive work of Kadeem Green prevented inside looks late.

Mike L’Africain sat out a large portion of the third quarter as well as the start of the fourth after collecting his fourth foul. He and Medhi Tihani paced the Ottawa offence with 14 points apiece.

Ryerson also received 16 points and 11 rebounds from Aaron Best.

Ottawa will look to rebound from the loss with a pair of home games next week. The Gee-Gees host the Queen’s Gaels and the York Lions at Montpetit Hall.