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(Credit: Eva Ou)
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MBASK come up short against defending champs
Laurier: 70 RYERSON: 80

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TORONTO (November 26, 2017) – The Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks men's basketball team engaged in a tight battle with the defending OUA Champion Ryerson Rams Saturday night at the Mattamy Athletic Centre in Toronto, going punch-for-punch with the powerful Rams most of the way. However, in the end, they could not make enough plays in the fourth quarter, succumbing to an 80-70 defeat on the second night of a back-to-back.

For the second night in a row, the Hawks (3-6) had a positive start, making a run late in the first capped by an Ali Sow (Ottawa, Ont.) three to take the lead 17-16 after one.

The game remained close throughout, with the Rams (6-2) holding an eight-point advantage going into the fourth quarter.

After watching Waterloo come back from a 12-point, fourth quarter deficit to force Ryerson into overtime the night prior, Hawks Head Coach Justin Serresse had hopes that his team would be able to replicate that feat Saturday night. However, what Serresse saw in the fourth quarter was a series of unfortunate events for the purple and gold. A few missed open looks, and key turnovers leading to easy layups and dunks for the Rams, were what separated the Hawks from victory.

Markham-native Tevaun Kokko once again led Laurier with 21 points, however it was an imperfect night for the star guard as he committed seven turnovers. Vlad Matovic (Kitchener, Ont.) was more involved on offence Saturday, finishing with 16 points. 

Serresse felt that, to garner more consistent success, his team needed more of a presence on the interior. Challenging his big men, Serresse thought that Matovic and Kemel Archer (Brampton, Ont.) responded well Saturday, although the issue is still a work in progress. Matovic did well to draw fouls in the post, getting to the free throw line ten times on the night.

Manny Diressa (Toronto) led the way for Ryerson with 24 points, seven rebounds, and seven assists.

Having lost three straight, Serresse will urge his team not to dwell on the past which they can not control, but rather prepare to play their best basketball in the final game of the semester, a showdown against arch rivals the Waterloo Warriors.

Tip is set for 8:00 p.m. on Friday, December 1 at the Athletic Complex. Tickets for the game can be purchased at tickets.laurierathletics.com and the game will be broadcast live on OUA.tv.
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