Rams topple Badgers in OUA semifinals
Brock’s Tyler Brown drives to the net in OUA semifinal action Wednesday at Brock. Photos by TESS AND BERNIE PUCHALSKI.
In the biggest basketball game at the Bob Davis Gymnasium in 10 years, the Brock Badgers men’s basketball team came up short Wednesday night.
With a spot in the national championships on the line, Brock dropped a 69-63 decision to the visiting Ryerson Rams in the Ontario University Athletics semifinals.
“We just didn’t play the way we were supposed to tonight and that was the result,” Brock guard Tyler Brown said. “We lost the game.”
Brock shot a woeful 28.1 per cent from the floor during the game — Ryerson shot at a 46.8 per cent clip — and the Badgers also missed 10 of their 33 field goals.
“Offensively, we couldn’t buy a bucket and we weren’t scoring,” Brown said. “Defensively, we did alright but we weren’t our best. And free throws killed us too.”
Brock head coach Charles Kissi was obviously disappointed his team couldn’t beat Ryerson for the third time this season.
“We didn’t shoot the ball well at all, we missed a lot of open looks and we weren’t playing very smart,” he said. “We played hard but not smart.”
The game was played in front of a loud crowd and the moment might have been a little much for some of the Badgers.
“No question it was too big for some of them but if we want to win a national title, that is what it is all about,” Kissi said. “This is prep for that and now it’s back to last year and we have to hope we get a wildcard spot to make it there or it’s the end.”
Last year, Brock won the OUA bronze medal and was denied a wildcard berth at the nationals. Leaving it in the hands of a committee to decide his team’s fate is the last place Kissi and his players wanted to be.
“We didn’t want to do this and leave it in other’s people’s hands,” Brown said. “We wanted to punch our ticket today and now we are in the same position as last year.”
That position isn’t pleasant.
“It’s a horrendous place to be but at the end of the day I am proud of our guys,” Kissi said. “They have had an unbelievable season, lots of records and we have done great for the university.”
Wednesday’s loss to Ryerson emphasizes how hard it is to win an OUA championship,
“We have the best conference in the country, hands down, and everybody can say whatever they want, but this is the toughest in the country and five of the top 10 teams are in our conference,” Kissi said. “To get out, you have to win a lot of good games.
“For anyone who thinks it is harder, come spend a year here.”
Ryerson head coach Roy Rana felt his team was able to win by staying in the game mentally.
“We’ve been inconsistent this season and we seemed to be settling defensively,” he said. “We just followed the game plan.
“We’ve been finding ways to win and hopefully we can continue to do it on Saturday night.”
Ryerson will play Carleton in the OUA final. Carleton topped Windsor 97-58 in the other semifinal Wednesday.
Rana agreed winning on Brock’s home court is no easy feat.
“To win in Ottawa and to come in here and win at Brock, two of the toughest programs in the country on the road, says a lot about the character of these kids.”
Rams 69 Badgers 63
BPSN Star of the Game: Brock’s Dani Elgadi with 20 points and eight rebounds.
For the Brock Badgers: Elgadi 20; Tyler Brown 9; Johneil Simpson 8.
For the Ryerson Rams: Ammanuel Diressa 19; Filip Vujadinovic 16; Myles Charvis 15.
Game stats: Field goal percentage: Brock 28.1, Ryerson 46.8. Free throws: Brock 23-33, Ryerson 19-24. Rebounds: Brock 39, Ryerson 34. Turnovers: Brock 12, Ryerson 21. Scoring by quarters: Brock 21-14-12-16=63, Ryerson 20-19-12-18=69.
Up next: Brock waits to hear its fate regarding a wildcard spot at the national championships.
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