By David Morassutti
In their first Ontario University Athletics (OUA) championship game the Ryerson women’s basketball team were in for a tough game against a more experienced Windsor Lancer squad.
The Rams were unable to overcome a strong two-way game from Windsor losing 71-51 to earn a silver medal in the provincial championship. The win was Windsor’s sixth OUA championship banner in seven years. The Rams have still qualified for the national championship in Quebec City later in the week.
Both squads were trading chances in a close first quarter with Windsor leading 23-16. Korissa Williams had 12 of Windsor’s 23 points in the opening quarter on 5-6 shooting while adding three assists and two steals.
Going into halftime Windsor continue to build on their lead outscoring Ryerson 19-13 to give them a 42-29 advantage. Windsor made the game out of reach in the third quarter holding Ryerson to eight points while scoring 20 of their own. That proved too much for the Rams to overcome as they could only muster 14 points in the final quarter.
Ryerson had a hard time defending in the paint where Windsor was dominant all game long, outscoring the Rams 48-12. Williams led the way for Windsor going eight for 15 for 18 points adding nine rebounds and 10 assists. Ryerson coach Carly Clarke said a slow defensive start led to the inability to slow down the Windsor offence.
“I think we were a bit off-balanced to start the game defensively but we found our groove but she [Williams] showed why she is an all-Canadian a fifth year as one of the best in the country by showing us how to come in and play in these games” said Clarke.
Windsor had a lot of momentum playing at home in front of an announced 1,603 in attendance. They got a lot of contribution from their bench players who totaled 23 points in comparison to Ryerson’s nine points. It was evident that the Rams were humbled by the experience of playing the four time national champions.
“In the end I thought having the experience in this situation with this crowd truly made a difference,” Clarke said. “When you have been in this environment before you are a bit more comfortable with it and I think we showed our discomfort with it at times and played with a little bit of fear for too long.”
Keneca Pingue-Giles led Ryerson with 24 points and six rebounds going four for seven in three point range while playing a team high 36 minutes. Pingue-Giles felt that the defensive effort was not good enough especially at the beginning of the game and that was the difference.
“We had a real tough time defending the post where they were scoring layup after layup,” she said. “They did not have to take a lot of three point attempts.”
Heading into nationals, Pingue-Giles knows that the team will have to come out stronger if they expect to compete with the country’s best teams.
“We have to play with strength and tenacity and be in the mindset that we [are a good team] we have proven that and we have to truly believe that” she said.
The first game of the national championships against will be March 12 in Quebec City against a yet-to-be determined opponent. Clarke hopes that the team can move on from this and push forward against some tough competition.
“We have to take this as a learning experience because we are going to be playing three games in this type of environment we still have to be proud of being second in the OUA and we have to build on that going into next week,” she said.