By Andreas Maierhofer
Ryerson’s women’s basketball team got a chance to live life in the fast lane under the bright lights of the Air Canada Centre last week.
Ryerson finished in third place at the Raptors Cup, a four team women’s tournament hosted by the NBA team.
“The first couple of games were a real novelty for us,” said Rams forward Becky Owen. “It felt really good sitting on the same bench and playing on the same court as the pros.”
The Rams finished playing Sunday afternoon with a 66-58 loss to the University of Toronto Varsity Blues in front of a nearly silent crowd of 300.
Owen, a fourth-year social work student, said the Rams’ 1-2 tournament finish won’t shake the team’s determination to improve on last season’s 4-12 record.
“This tournament will definitely give us added confidence for the rest of the season,” she said.
Rams captain Lisa Poulin said the squad, comprised of five first-years, felt playing in the same venue as the pros was a valuable experience.
“All the players showed a lot of energy because we were playing at the Air Canada Centre,” she said. “We wanted to play out best in this tournament.”
Poulin said the tournament helped prepare Ryerson for the 20-game regular season, which being in less than two weeks.
“Even though we didn’t come out on top, I think the team as a whole took a lot from the game, especially because we were playing at the ACC,” Poulin said.
Despite the disappointing third-place finish, Rams head coach Sandra Pothier remains confident the team’s regular season will improve dramatically from this week’s warm-up.
“I know we can take these teams out if we work a little harder in some key areas. One thing we definitely have to work on is our foul shooting,” Pothier said.
In its last game against downtown rival U of T, Ryerson shot an appalling 26-68 from the floor, and sent the Blues to the charity stripe 44 times.
Star fourth-year guard Miruna Muller was disappointed with her team’s performance.
“We should have won this tournament, no doubt about it,” she said. “This should have been our tournament.”