By Steven Noble
That’s right folks, it’s that time: running, leaping, shooting, stealing – basketball season is here again.
This past weekend the Ryerson women’s team opened the regular season with an undefeated two-game road trip, defeating Queen’s University in a 59-56 ulcer-causing affair and the Royal Military College in a 73-31 romp.
Coach Sandra Pothier is back for her thirteenth season behind the bench with team captains Tamara Alleyne-Gittens (5th year) and Lisa Greig (3rd year) providing leadership on the hardwood. A star forward on a team that has traditionally lacked stars, Alleyne-Gittens is a force on the boards and plays a solid post game. She finished tenth in rebounds in the league last year.
“She provides a calming influence on this young team,” said Pothier. “She is a quiet but important leader&She should be a league all-star this year.”
In two games this past weekend Alleyne-Gittens led the team in scoring and rebounding, averaging 17.5 points and 8.5 rebounds per game. But how does this year’s squad stack up compared to last year’s group (which finished sixth in an eight team Eastern Division with a record of 8-14)? “Every year is different,” said Greig.”This team has a lot of talent; it’s just a matter of achieving it and using it.” Greig did say that the chemistry on the team is exceptional this season, on and off the court.
During her rundown of the team’s new talent, Pothier says there are a lot of reasons this team can be successful this year.
“We have four new players – three are rookies and one played in the States. Kaitlyn Taylor, excellent 3 point shooter. Jena Clark, 3 point shooter and can defend at guard or small forward. Christina Vuong sees the floor well, good ball handler and shooter. Jovana Popovic, good work ethic.”
Last year the team struggled in its own end, allowing 61 points against per game – fourth-highest in Ontario University Athletics. Pothier says defence is something they will be focusing on improving this season.
Offensively the goal is to “be able to fast break and get the ball inside to our posts.” Pothier was confident enough to predict that this team would finish better than last year, “even though the league is very tight.”
Sports Editor says: 10 wins, 12 losses