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Women’s basketball secures sixth and final playoff spot

By Daniel Rocchi

The Ryerson women’s basketball team ended their four-game losing streak by defeating the Algoma University Thunderbirds 68-48 at the Mattamy Athletic Centre (MAC) Saturday night.

With this win, the Rams (5-11-0) retake sole possession of the sixth and final playoff spot in the OUA East division.

“If we continue to get the victories that we should, I think we’ll be in good position come playoff time,” Rams’ head coach Carly Clarke said.

Mariah Nunes and Keneca Pingue-Giles each had 10 points for Ryerson, while Sydney Resch had a game-high 19 points for the Thunderbirds (0-16-0).

“We needed a win,” head coach Clarke said. “We had a tough road-trip and then we had a disappointing loss last night, so [we’re] definitely pleased to get back in the win-column and hopefully build a little confidence going into our final three weeks of the regular season.”

The game opened at a quick pace, and the Rams looked alert at both ends of the court — despite playing their second game in as many nights.

At the end of the first 10 minutes, Ryerson had a 20-12 lead — largely thanks to seven first-quarter points from Pingue-Giles.

At one point in the second quarter, the Rams doubled Algoma 36-18. But the Thunderbirds went on an 8-2 run in the dying minutes of the half and Ryerson went into the break leading 38-26.

After letting Algoma back into the game at the end of the first half, Ryerson stormed the court in the second — going on a 10-0 run before the Thunderbirds responded to make it a 20-point game less than three-and-a-half minutes into the third quarter.

“After the half-time meeting, we just said we [had] to at least focus on defence and stop them and then offence [would] come naturally,” Nunes, who had a team-high five defensive rebounds, said.

Though Algoma managed to put points on the board, the Rams held a double-digit lead for the entire second half of the game and made their first win since Jan. 10.

“We just knew we had to beat Algoma, no matter what,” Nunes said.

Ryerson’s next game is against second-place Ottawa University Gee-Gees Friday at 6 p.m. at the MAC. It’s the first of another two back-to-back home games — as the Rams take on conference-leading Carleton University Ravens on Saturday.

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