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Rams Cruise to 91-52 Exhibition Win in 2022-23 Opener

October 29, 2022

The opponent was Metro State. A new head coach and a slew of new players. Sometimes you see upsets in these types of matchups. But let’s be fair. David vs Goliath wasnt in the cards for the Roadrunners. In fact, this was a case of the Wily Coyotes, err Rams dropping the proverbial Acme anvil on the visitors heads over 40 minutes of play.

Veterans John Tonje and Isaiah Rivera led the scoring with 19 and 18 respectively while newcomer Patrick Cartier chipped in 13. The Rams shot 53% from the field, 41% from beyond the arc, and a stellar 16-16 from the free throw line. They outrebounded the Roadrunners 40-30 and used their speed to dominate in fast break points 29-4.

The Rams struggled with early turnovers (6 in the first nine minutes) which kept the game close. It was clear that the game plan was to attack the paint rather then settle from the perimeter and some of the early decision making was poor. Tentative shots, poor passes, soft ball handling. They finally found their stride midway through the first half as the turnovers went away and , led by Rivera and Cartier, finished at the rim.

They led 45-29 at the half.

The second half featured more of the same in terms of attacking the rim and the payoff came midway through the second half as the Rams went on an extended 22-0 run allowing them to clear the bench for the final four minutes.

It was what you’d expect for the first time out, spanning the spectrum from disjointed to connected. Just what you’d expect with a new squad at the start of a new season. Effective but not necessarily pretty. A lot like watching an anvil fall on someone’s head.

No Tavi

With the absence of Isaiah Stevens, Ram fans were looking forward to seeing the point guard duties being share by Baylor Hebb and frosh Tavi Jackson. Unfortunately, Jackson sustained a concussion during the week and was on the bench in street clothes. Not an ideal situation in terms of his development but good for Hebb to get minutes in his expanded role. Hebb started slowly but came on in the second half, ending with 9 points and 4 assists in 26 minutes. Fans will have to wait to get a look at the dynamic Jackson.

Big Man by Committee

Bigs James Moors and Patrick Cartier mostly shared the Center position as the Rams went primarily with a small lineup . There were instances of the two on the floor at the same time. Over a combined 39 minutes, they scored 19 points on 7-10 shooting and grabbed 14 rebounds. Cartier showed his quality interior finishing skills with a variety of crafty finished with either hand. They dominated the smaller bigs from Metro but there’s lots of room for growth as the two also combined for 7 turnovers.

Gardner Webb Next Up

The games are for real beginning on November 7th when Gardner Webb travels to Moby. Tavi Jackson is expected back and will probably be part of what looks like a 9-man rotation in the absence of Stevens. The Rams began the Metro game with a starting lineup of 5 holdovers – Tonje, Rivera, Jalen Lake, Hebb, and Moors. The bench is all newcomers and their development over the course of the season will be critical to the success of the team. Cartier, Josiah Strong, Joe Palmer, and Jackson all have important roles to play and Gardner Webb will offer a good opportunity for them to demonstrate their progress.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. October 29, 2022 3:24 pm

    Nice review…keep them coming as you’ve replaced the Coloradoan and DP coverage is a gift. Please speak loudly about the need to replace a “can’t hear sound system at Moby…where’s the leadership here.?..we’ve asked for this for two years with patience…best rich

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