The Ryerson Rams made history against the Western Mustangs on Wednesday night, setting a new program record with 23 three-pointers made en route to a 105–76 win.

The loss drops the Mustangs to 1–6 on the season with only one game remaining before the Christmas break.

The Rams were 23-of-44 from three and 39-of-67 from the field in their second highest scoring performance of the season. 

Adika Peter-McNeilly led all scorers in the game with 36 points on 13-of-16 shooting along with seven rebounds and six assists. The Mustangs had no answer for shutting down a Ryerson offence that is leading the nation with 95.7 points per game.

“I think we just let them come out early," said co-captain Alex Coote on his team's poor defensive performance. "We gave them a couple of easy shots to a couple of their key players. They’ve got some great players who are gonna be hard to stop and they started hitting some tough ones.”

The Mustangs were led by Omar Shiddo, who had 15 points, while Coote, Alex Otzyv and Dominic Clayton had 11 points apiece. 

Eric McDonald, the team's only fourth-year player and Mustangs' co-captain was frustrated by the team's defensive performance against Ryerson.

"Ryerson has two of the top guards in the country, so when you let them see the ball go in the net early you're in for a long night," said McDonald, who has been out of the Mustangs lineup since Nov. 12. "It didn't help that we did a poor job of finding them and running them off the three-point line most of the game so once they hit a couple shots it was tough to stop."

Along with Peter-McNeilly's 36-point performance, the Rams also saw production from Ammanuel Diressa, who scored 21 points. Together the duo has averaged 38.5 points per game through the first six games of the Rams' season.

Currently on a three-game losing skid the Mustangs will face off with the Toronto Varsity Blues on Saturday before taking a month off for the Christmas break. The Mustangs hope to end the 2016 calendar year with a win to propel them into the second half of the season.

"We need a big bounce back game against Toronto so we just have to stay positive and be ready to compete on Saturday," said McDonald. "I think in the first half our effort level was low which was disappointing because that should never be an issue so we just have to learn to give it our all from the start."

The Varsity Blues are currently 4–3 with wins over Algoma, Nipissing, Waterloo and Laurentian. It's a winnable game for the Mustangs. A victory to head into the Christmas break could be a turning point in what has been a challenging season for this young Mustangs squad.

"We have had a rough start to the first half of the season, but I think it's important to keep our heads up and continue to look forward," said Mustangs third-year guard Jedson Tavernier. "There's still a lot of basketball left to be played this season and it's important to learn from our mistakes and keep pushing to get better.

"We're looking forward to a good game this weekend, followed by a productive break heading into the second half of the season."

Mike is a sports editor for Volume 110 of the Gazette. He is currently a third year history major. Contact Mike at mike@westerngazette.ca.

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