By David Morassuitti
The Ryerson women’s basketball team made a statement in their first consolation game against the St. Mary’s Huskies on March 13, winning in convincing fashion 76-60. The win was the Rams’ first win ever at the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) Final 8.
In their first game of the Final 8 tournament yesterday, the Rams did not get off to a great start with an 81-59 loss to UBC. They were looking to avoid an early elimination from the tournament Friday.
The Rams started the game off strong, leading 23-12 after the first quarter.
“We looked confident from the get go and had a great start,” head coach Carly Clarke said. “We were much more relaxed and comfortable today especially with a game under our belt.”
Ryerson continued to press hard in the second quarter heading into the second half. The Rams took a 15 point advantage into the break leading 41-26 in what was an impressive showing.
The Rams were 66.7 per cent shooting while St. Mary’s was 29 per cent. The Rams found success with the deep ball, going three of four from three point range while St. Mary’s could not get much success, going four of 13, which was good for 30.8 per cent.
Sofia Paska and Cara Tiemens led the way for the Rams with Paska leading the team with 12 points and Tiemens going three for three from three point range. Laura Langille led St. Mary’s players with eight points.
St. Mary’s started to chip away at the lead pulling within eight trailing of Ryerson who held a 51-43 advantage heading into the final quarter.
In the fourth quarter, both teams were pushing hard but Ryerson was able to pull ahead, holding a 20 point advantage with five minutes left in the game. That hole proved to be too much for St. Mary’s to overcome as Ryerson took the decisive victory with a 76-60 result.
Ryerson received a strong three headed attack from Paska, Tiemens and Keneca Pingue-Giles. Paska was awarded player of the game leading the Rams in scoring with 23 points six rebounds and 7-10 at the free throw line. Pingue-Giles had a double-double for the Rams with 15 points and 11 rebounds leading all players with 10 defensive rebounds. Tiemens was 3-5 from three point range and finished with 14 points.
Paska said the team was proud of what they accomplished especially with the way her team made adjustments today. “We were not expecting to make it this far and now that we are here and won a game it feels amazing,” she said. “We stuck together as a team, put our heads down and kept fighting for the whole 40 minutes which we did better today.”
Ryerson out-rebounded St. Mary’s 38-23 and finished the game with a field goal percentage of 56.9 per cent while St. Mary’s only shot 31.3 per cent but had 23 points off the bench. It was a nice rebound effort after a tough loss in their last game, something Clarke was happy that her team was able to do.
“It was great to get a win because our goal was to play on day three,” Clarke said. “I think if we finish in fifth in this tournament I think we should be extremely proud and that will be our goal heading into tomorrow.”
The Rams will play the University of Alberta Pandas the final consolation game on Saturday at 4:30 p.m. Clarke said that it was important for their team to battle and get a win.
With files from Devin Jones