Women’s basketball team upsets Toronto and Queen’s
By Joel Wass
The teams in the OUA east division may be good, but the women’s basketball team is proving to be better than some of them.
The Rams beat the University of Toronto Blues 66-65, on Friday night.
“It was an enormous confidence booster,” said head coach Sandra Pothier of the team’s nail-biting victory over the Varsity Blues. “We’re a young team, but we have a lot of talent and we were able to beat a top team.”
Starting guard Karrina Navarro said Friday’s game meant more than most regular season victories.
“Our name is out there now,” said Navarro who had 10 points and eight assists in the game. “Now it’s time for teams to take our team seriously. The team chemistry is great, which is something we didn’t have before. This year the bench is really helping us out a lot.”
Pothier was able to play her entire bench during the game. Almost everybody made a contribution.
“I thought Stephanie Hart especially did a great job when Karrina had three fouls in the first half,” Pothier said.
Hart played 13 minutes in relief. She was one of only two Rams not to turn the ball over.
In addition to their solid play as a team, Ryerson had some incredible individual performances against their cross-town rivals.
The Rams’ leading scorer, Tamara Alleyne-Gittens finished with a team high 20 points.
“When I’m feeling it, I can’t be stopped,” said Alleyne-Gittens, a second-year post. “If we’re able to keep working the ball around, we got some great shooters on this team.”
Alleyne-Gittens, a good shooter in her own right, saved her best for Saturday.
She went 7-10 from the field in Ryerson’s 56-49 win over Queen’s University. The Rams are 4-2 after posting their third straight win of the season.
Navarro was critical of the team’s performance against Queen’s. She said Saturday that illustrated one of Ryerson’s glaring weaknesses.
“We don’t finish games,” says Navarro, who managed only seven points against Queen’s tough full-court pressure defense. “We have to play the entire 40 minutes. I keep telling them that. Now we have to start doing it.”
The Rams dominated Queen’s during the opening two quarters and were able to keep them under 10 points with less than two minutes remaining in the first half.
However, the Rams slowed down in the second half and allowed for the Golden Gaels to tie the game at 39-39.
“I honestly think it [was] more mental fatigue than it is physical fatigue,” said swing guard Teaka Grizzle, who sealed the win against Queen’s with two big three pointers in the game’s dying minutes. Grizzle finished with 19 points.
“With the runs we’re doing at Queen’s park and with the endurance tests we do, like the beep test, being physically tired is not an excuse for us,” she said.
Pothier says she is happy her team is confident after their successful weekend but said the team is keeping everything in perspective.
“We still have to beat those teams a second time. We know they’re going to be bringing it when we meet them on their home courts,” said Pothier. “Maybe then I’ll feel that we have something to say. But there are a lot of teams and a lot of games still left to play.”
The Rams play at York University on Friday night, and travel to Laurentian University on Sunday.