By Chris Blanchette
The Ryerson women’s basketball team defeated the University of Toronto Varsity Blues by a score of 87-74 to capture the 2015 BIA Cup, Saturday night at the Goldring Centre.
Keneca Pingue-Giles had seven points in the opening quarter before early foul trouble forced her to check out midway through the first. The score stayed close as the quarter continued, while the Rams and Blues traded baskets. As the clock was winding down Sofia Paska caught the ball at the top of the key and drained a buzzer beating three-pointer to give the Rams a 30-24 lead.
Ryerson upped the tempo in the second quarter. By the four-minute mark their lead had grown to 14. Paska made her presence felt under the basket by grabbing six rebounds and leading all scorers with 17 points on 7-11 shooting. On top of rebounding well, the Rams also shot the lights out. The team went a combined 60 per cent from behind the arc and 60.5 per cent on field goals. The Rams held a 55-40 lead going into half.
The Varsity Blues put up more of a fight in the third quarter. Ryerson continued to establish their game in the post by working the ball inside to Paska and Silvana Jez. By the end of the quarter both Paska and Jez had tallied a double-double. The Rams looked to be carrying a double-digit lead into the fourth quarter until Blues guard Abena Addo nailed a buzzer beating triple. U of T had cut the lead down to single digits and outscored the Rams 22-14 but still trailed 69-62 heading into the final frame.
Sloppy transition passing began to take a toll on the Rams offense in the fourth. Turnovers resulted in easy Blues baskets, as the Rams watched their lead dwindle down to one. This served as a wake up call to Ryerson who called a time out and came out firing. From that point on it was all Rams. Ryerson pulled away thanks to a late burst of scoring in the final minutes of the game resulting in an 87-74 win over the Varsity Blues.
Pingue-Giles, who had 25 points, eight rebounds and five assists in 34 minutes, said she was happy with the win but felt there was still much to improve on.
“Our team can score at will but what we need to focus on is having a defensive mind set. We gave up over 70 points, which is unacceptable especially considering we held them to only 36 points last time,” said Pingue-Giles.
Pingue-Giles was of course referring to the last meeting between the two teams in which Ryerson obliterated U of T in a one sided affair 78-36.
Rams head coach Carly Clarke gave a similar take but felt that the team battled well defensively and forced U of T into mistakes that decided the game.
“We changed up our defense, to try to take away their rhythm and tempo. That created some deflections, which lead to some easy scores and steals,” said Clarke.
As for the offensive aspect of the team, Paska finished with 24 points and 11 rebounds, while Jez had 10 points and 15 rebounds. The Rams shot 49.3 per cent on field goals and 37.5 per cent from behind the arc for their fifth win of the season.
You can catch the next home game on Jan. 13 at the Mattamy Athletic Centre at 6 p.m. against York University.