The third-seeded Ryerson Rams cruised to an 87-47 victory over the Concordia Stingers in the second quarterfinal game of the U SPORTS Men’s Basketball Final 8 on Thursday afternoon.
The OUA runners-up led the RSEQ champions and sixth-seed in the tournament 17-4 after the opening six minutes.
Keyed by back-to-back three-pointers from Keevon Small and Myles Charvis, the Rams extended their double-digit lead to 26-6 after the first quarter.
“It feels good – it is always a privilege to be here,” said Charvis, a fifth-year senior guard, of playing in the Final 8.
He thought the Rams “experience and depth” was a key to the victory.
“We had the opportunity to play a lot of guys,” said Ryerson head coach Roy Rana.
Thirteen players took the floor for the Rams.
In a low-scoring second quarter, both teams tallied 15 points.
Adrian Armstrong, who collected 10 points in the first two quarters, led the Concordia offence, including banking-in a shot-clock beating three-pointer
The Rams led 41-21 at halftime.
In the third quarter, Ryerson outscored Concordia 22-12 and extended their advantage to 63-33, featuring a varied offensive assault.
The Rams continued to pull away in the fourth quarter on five--of-eight shooting from downtown, with Nathan Culbreath and Nikola Urosevic coming off the bench to connect from beyond the arc.
As for the Stingers, the fifth-best three-point shooting team in U SPORTS, finished an anemic 3-for-36 from downtown.
“I think their length, on defence, bothered us, and we also missed a lot of open shots early on,” said Concordia head coach Rastko Popovic.
Rana noted the Rams “really executed” their game plan to slow the Stingers from beyond the arc.
“We knew they were good at that and we worked really hard – we were locked in, for the most part,” he said.
Popovic said his young team – new to the national championship stage – “got off to a rough start.”
“You can’t fall behind a team like Ryerson - 10-0 – it wasn’t ideal,” he added.
“I think there was a lot of nervousness early and we couldn’t recover. They are such a great team and have been here so many times.”
Despite the one-sided victory for his squad, Rana described Concordia as a “program on the rise.”
“I feel for them – I remember our first experience at nationals,” he said, noting a blowout loss to Alberta.
Charvis, the Rams Player of the Game, led a balanced attack, with 14 points, while adding seven assists and a steal.
Warsame Mohamed, scored a team-high 15 points off the bench, while chipping in nine rebounds.
Tanor Ngom and Jayden Frederick also hit double figures with 12 and 11 apiece.
Armstrong, the Stingers Player of the Game, meshed a game-best 19 points, while Second Team All-Canadian Ricardo Monge collected 11.
The Rams move on to face the defending champion Calgary Dinos, in a rematch of last year’s national title game, in semifinal action on Saturday at 1 p.m. ET / 10 a.m. PT on Sportsnet 360, Sportsnet Now and TVA Sports, while the Stingers will tip off against the Saint Mary’s Huskies at 10 a.m. ET / 7 a.m. PT. in the consolation semifinal.
Players of the Game
- Ryerson: Myles Charvis
- Concordia: Adrian Armstrong