By Devin Jones
Suffering only their second loss of the season and first on home court, defensive troubles including 25 turnovers, stifled the Ryerson women’s basketball team allowing the University of Queen’s Gaels to remain atop the East division by a score of 80-74
In a game that started out well for the Rams with guard Keneca Pingue-Giles scoring three, three point shots, unusual miscommunication and their usual up-tempo style worked against them as Queens were able to match them beat for beat.
“They played zone and we’re not a good zone offensive team so we weren’t prepared and we should be better, simple as that,” said Giles. “whichever team we play we have to compete, we can’t just kill teams like York and then be satisfied. Sometimes you have to lose these games but you need to be prepared for every game.
Despite Giles scoring 31 points on the night, the Rams were never able to find their groove. Turnovers and an badgering Queens defensive front were able to stime the Rams lightning quick offense. The first quarter began with the team Ryerson fans have been treated to all season, with Giles and Mariah Nunes providing an explosive offensive presence. Coupled with early strong defensive play from second year forward Sofia Paska, the Rams were able to go up eight-to-nothing.
But for all their explosive offensive power, the Gaels caught on quick and were able to stifle the Rams and force unusual turnovers. Strong defense from Queens allowed their offense to net 41 total points in the half. While Queens was able to spread out the bulk of it’s scoring in the two quarters between four players, much of the Rams 28 points came courtesy of Giles with 15.
“They played a different defense against us that we were quite unsure about, so we have to be more prepared for that in February,” said guard Sofia Paska. “Turning the ball over less and not being scared. Doing what we do best and being comfortable with our game is what needs to happen next time.”
The Second half started out with much of the same miscommunication from the Rams bench and uncharacteristic turnovers, giving the Gaels a 37-25 lead early into the third quarter. Yet the tenacity that’s been a staple of head coach Carly Clarke’s team never wavered, at one point cutting the lead to seven. And despite momentum that the Rams built throughout the third quarter, the Gaels were able to score a buzzer beating trey to end the third.
The fourth quarter saw the Rams mount a comeback. With 16 of Giles’ 31 points coming in the second half, tension mounted with Queen’s up 78-71 and a minute left in the game. With both Paksa and Giles’ partner in crime Nunes pitching in 11 points, the Rams fought until the bitter end, the Gales holding on for the victory.
“We definitely didn’t play our best, I mean we’re the second team in the country so we’re being hunted and teams are looking to bring it against us,” said second year guard Cara Timens.
The Rams will look to Friday January 22 as they take on the University of Carleton Ravens at the Mattamy Athletic Centre (MAC) with a start time of six p.m.