By Steve Petrick
The Saskatchewan Huskies were not the only team to give the Concordia Stingers a beating in Toronto this weekend. Hours after the Montreal school suffered an embarrassing Vanier Cup loss, 15 Ryerson women stung them on the basketball court.
The Rams humiliated Concordia for 10 minutes of the first half, as they scored 20 straight points en route to a 63-56 win, Saturday.
Thanks to its current three-game winning streak, the Rams finish the pre Christmas season with a 4-2 record, a reversal from last year when they went into the break 2-4.
“We wanted to end on a positive note,” said Rams guard Miruna Muller, who has been an offensive threat all year. She says that the team’s recent success is much due to great on-court teamwork.
“We get along. We have the chemistry happening and no matter how a game is going we keep moving which is really important,” which is really important,” the second-year social work student said after a 15-point performance.
Saturday’s win bumped Ryerson into a tie with U of T and Queen’s for a second place in the OUA east division. It was Concordia’s first loss of the season. They head the Quebec division with a record of 4-1. Forward Becky Owen, in her third year with the Rams, thinks this year’s squad has made several improvements over past teams.
“We work a lot better as a team, in terms of passing the ball and getting along better on the court. It’s been much better,” she said.
However, the Rams still face the problem of putting 40 solid minutes of basketball together.
Ryerson started slow against Concordia, and trailed by five points, seven minutes into the game. By halftime they built a 17 point lead. Then expanded the lead to 21 with 10 minutes left in the game. Ryerson almost let its lead slip away when, with five minutes to go, Concordia pulled within five. Still, Ryerson has enough composure to work the final minutes off the clock.
“Our discipline is existing a little longer,” Rams head coach Sandra Pothier said. “I still feel we have some lapses, but those lapses are getting slimmer.”
“I was happy,” she said. “Concordia just came off beating Queen’s, (the eighth-ranked team) it was a good win for us and good to stop their momentum.”
Ryerson entered the game with one injured starter on the bench. Third-year forward Lisa Poulin sprained her ankle against McGill on Friday. Pothier credits several players who came off the bench and contributed in her absence. Petra Wolfbeiss hit five of seven field goals and Monique Hanley scored another.
In her last game as a Ram, Hanley started in Poulin’s place and brought down five defensive rebounds. An exchange student, Hanley will return to her home in Australia after the term.
“She’s done an outstanding job for us. We’re going to miss her next term, but I feel confident that Eva [Ain], Petra and Nadine [Barnes] and other players ont eh bench can pick up for her. [Hanley] has really set the tone defensively for our squad, coming off the bench, being intense and playing good transition defence. She’s really helped us a lot,” Pothier said.
The Rams will head to Barbados for a tournament during the Christmas break. The Rams resume OUA play on Jan. 15 when they take on Carleton.