It is a matchup that, in a real sports country, would make great televised theatre. Thomas Cooper is the country's best one-on-one player with all due respect to UNB's Javon Masters. Carleton, Mark Masters' alma mater, is going for six in a row, and is the most All For One team that ever teamed.
Calgary, led by superstar Cooper's and Jasdeep Gill's work on the wing, had an answer every time Ryerson tried to close the gap. It never got closer than a two-possession game, five points, in the fourth quarter. A Gill corner triple with about 5:50 left finished off Ryerson.
Ryerson will try to salvage a second CIS bronze in a row against Dalhousie on Sunday. That will make a nice undercard, Ammanuel Diressa against Ritchie Kanza Mata.
Second half notes:
- Thomas Cooper is feeling it, now into the 20s after a long contested triple. Best scorer in the country.
- Best just took his third foul, 5:38 left, third quarter.
- Ottawa is finished, but Jasdeep Gill's consecutive triples from the wing have opened an 11-point lead. That has Calgary back on the right track. Do you get it? Do you get it? Because Ottawa has Vikas Gill, and because a Gee-Gee is a horse, and horses run on tracks. Do you get it?
- Another Gill triple has helped keep the lead at ten.
- Manny Diressa has 16 for Ryerson, but needs to keep the other four Rams engaged.
- Right on cue, Kadeem Green leans in, drops in a bucket and the Rams are down five, as close as they have come this half.
- It doesn't last; Calgary scores and then the Rams put one into what would be a student section, if it was filled by students.
- Diressa takes his fourth with 7:19 left, has to stay in. Cooper got his 25th point on the ensuing makes from the foul line.
- Kapinga, Calgary's steal-happy point guard, has three with 6:12 left. Ryerson within five.
- Jasdeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep Gill pockets a triple for the eight-point lead, now down to 5:15.
- Cooper gets his 27th, then Gill alters a Roshane Roberts drive and Calgary clears. The Rams are down 10 at the four-minute mark, but with the way they play ...
- Goaltending call ends a two-minute, 22-minute stretch without a whistle.
- Gill again, only this time he puts Filip Vujadinovic on his hip, drops the shoulder, old-fashioned triple for a 13-point lead with 3:10 left.
- Matt Letkeman, who used his fouls well, gets No. 5 with 2:46 left and Calgary up 11.
- That opens up space for Green to score with 94 seconds left, so Ryerson can press and foul.
- Not this time: Mukama misses a three from about the same spot as his icewater equalizer on Thursday. Down to 50.7 seconds when Mitch Ligertwood fouls out.
Impact for/on the Dinos — The 2-of-9 mark at the line is a red flag, especially with Thomas Cooper having 18 across 18 minuts while point guard David Kapinga has 12 in 16. Calgary has been credited with assists on 26.3% of baskets, compared to Ryerson's 46.2%, which even accounting for a window 5% up or down in each direction, for either team, means Ryerson is running more of offence. It's just that Calgary is hitting, while defensively have mostly ensured the Rams are one-and-done.
Impact for/on the Rams — A 37.1 per cent effective shooting half was pretty much what was feared after that great game against UBC. Ryerson has been down by 12-plus in their last three games; these are good teams, but still. The upside is they got all eight rotation players shots, and ex-D1 guard Ammanuel Diressa took it upon himself late in the half to make two triples (one contemporary, one classic and-one) to get Ryerson back into single digits.
Aaron Best has been quiet for 65 minutes of game action: he was 2-of-6, no threes for five points. That is getting into the 'you must be playing hurt' territory, since it is below par.