By Evan Manning
After over a month off from serious competition, the Ryerson Rams (6-3) women’s basketball team returned to the court in heartbreaking fashion Wednesday night, falling to the University of Toronto Varsity Blues 74-71 at the Golding Centre.
A sloppy first half, which saw the Rams down by as many as 20, could not be overcome. But they never gave up.
The Rams responded with a dominant third quarter that saw them outscore U of T 22-13.
“We had a terrible second quarter,” said head coach Carly Clarke. “But our team is known for having a ton of fight and by no means were we going to quit.”
The Rams’ relentlessness was especially present yet again in their star player Keneca Pingue-Giles (23 points), who played with the same toughness reminiscent of the Toronto Raptor’s Kyle Lowry.
After putting up 12 points through three quarters, Pingue-Giles came up clutch with 11 in the fourth alone.
At one point the Rams cut the lead all the way down to 66-65, but the Varsity Blues responded with a 7-0 run to ice it in front of a boisterous home crowd.
The Rams’ third-year guard Chloe Mago also turned heads this evening, coming off the bench to shoot her way to a career-high 16 points. With rookie guard Cara Tiemens struggling through foul trouble, it was Mago who provided a much-needed spark.
Fortunately for Ryerson, they get to see their crosstown Toronto rivals again on February 11 in the second part of the newly announced BIA Cup.
“For sure we will be looking for revenge in that one,” Clarke said. “It’ll be a big game with a lot of playoff implications.”
The Rams look to rebound from this loss this Saturday against McMaster (6-3) at 1:00 p.m. at the Mattamy Athletic Centre.