By Harlan Nemers
The Rams Ryerson Rams women’s basketball team was as ready as ever and it showed on the court as they are now headed to the OUA East division semi-final.
Second-year forward Kelsey Wright scored a game-high 22 points and Angela Tilk added 19 as the Rams defeated the Queens Gaels 61-52 on Wednesday night at Kerr Hall Gymnasium.
The Rams, who came into the game holding opponents to 63 points in the regular season, allowed only 51 points or less for the fourth time this season.
Putting that into perspective, the Windsor Lancers, the best team in the OUA during the regular season, lead the league in defence with an opponent’s points per game of just 52.
“We played defence. I wanted them to play well and they stepped up. They played like they wanted to win and not to lose,” said Rams’ interim head coach Charles Kissi. “I’m proud of them.”
The Rams, who have made the East division semi-final for the third straight year, outshot the Gaels 29.3 per cent to 28.6 per cent.
After a 31-31 halftime score, the Rams would outscore the Gaels 31-20 in the second half, including allowing just four points in the entire third quarter.
The Rams outrebounded the Gaels 40- 36, including 10 by Alexandrea Tkaczyk alone.
“I thought we played really well on defence. Our posts were boxing out well,” said Rams’ captain Kelsey Wright. “We outrebounded them.”
The Gaels were playing with a short bench. Four roster players were scratched due to injury.
Queens’ top scorer Brittany Moore was held to18 points on just 25 per cent shooting.
“I think Ryerson outhustled and outworked us which provided them a lot of opportunities to get to the foul line,” said Gaels’ head coach Dave Wilson.” We didn’t get there [the foul-line] enough.”
The Gaels, who entered the game shooting an East division best 69.2 per cent from the free-throw line during the regular season, shout just 42.1 per cent on 8/19 shooting at the line. The Rams, meanwhile, went 22/35 from the line.
“We’re going to build on our defence. It’s going to take us all the way,” said Rams’ forward Angela Tilk.
The Rams will now head to Toronto to face the Varsity Blues in the East division semi-final on Saturday night in the round of eight and are 0-2 against the Varsity Blues this season, including a 71- 65 loss in the final game of the season.