Photo: Stephen Armstrong

Women’s basketball beats nationally ranked Lakehead

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 By Brandon Buechler

It was a marquee matchup with a serious playoff atmosphere at the Mattamy Athletic Centre on Saturday, as the Ryerson women’s basketball team (13-3) clashed against the Lakehead Thunderwolves (12-3) in an 83-75 victory.

Although it wasn’t actually a playoff game, head coach Carly Clarke said it was a great opportunity to “warm-up” against the playoff bound Thunderwolves.

“They’re a great team to play, a lot of fun, and well-coached,” Clarke said. “This win is huge in our efforts to get a bye for the playoffs, so definitely a playoff feel to it.”

The game was a back-and-forth affair through all four quarters, but Ryerson managed to hold at least a seven-point lead the entire game.

The only blip came in the third quarter when Lakehead scored 24 points to Ryerson’s 18.

“Lakehead came out with a little bit of fire, we had a lead, and [Jylisa Williams] was looking to make some plays” Clarke said. “[She’s] one of the best players in the country.”

Ryerson managed to contain Williams, who had 50 points the night before, limiting her to 24 points, matching Ryerson’s Keneca Giles who nearly set a career-high.

“Keneca was definitely our [top contributor] today,” said Clarke.

 Clarke also mentioned Sofia Paska as a key component to the victory.

The rookie Paska, who did set a career-high in points with 20, said she didn’t feel any different from other games despite and impressive performance.

“I think I just came out a little tougher,” she said. “I think I did my job, coach asked me to step up since we have Mariah out and I think I did that.”

And despite missing Mariah Nunes, who is out with a concussion and hopes to return soon, the Rams managed a comfortable 51.5 per cent field goal shooting, something Clarke was quite happy about.

“I didn’t even realize we did that,” she said with a laugh. “Clearly we executed tonight.”

Ryerson’s next game comes against the University of Toronto on Feb. 11, as a conclusion to the BIA Cup. The game begins at 6 p.m. at the Mattamy Athletic Centre.

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