By Chris Blanchette
The Ryerson women’s basketball team lost 76-73 in overtime against the number 10 ranked University of Ottawa Gee-Gees, for their third loss of the season.
The Rams came out firing on all cylinders in the first quarter and outscored Ottawa 19-8. Strong rebounding from Sofia Paska and Siki Jez created second chance scores and vaulted the Rams out in front.
Ryerson fell flat in the second quarter. Ottawa was able to adjust well and force the Rams into bad shots while outscoring them 21-13 in the quarter. Paska had 8 points on 3-5 shooting, while adding 4 rebounds. Despite shooting only 35 per cent from the floor, the Rams held a 32-29 lead heading into halftime.
The second half saw an even back and forth battle between both teams. Neither Ryerson nor Ottawa were able to pull away at any point. Both teams struggled tremendously from three-point range – Ryerson shooting 2-11 and the Gee-Gees shooting 4-21.
Despite a shaky start in the first half, Keneca Pingue-Giles scored 11 of her 17 points in the second half and helped Ryerson mount a comeback. At the end of regulation the score lay dead even at 64.
Overtime came down to the wire. Just when it looked double overtime might be on the horizon, Ottawa’s Julia Soriano drained a three pointer with 5.1 seconds remaining on the clock. Pingue-Giles took a last second desperation three but was just short on the attempt, as Ryerson lost the heartbreaker.
Ryerson only able to dish out 3 assists in the first half, and only accumulated 10 in the game but head coach Carly Clarke says that isn’t a huge problem.
“I think how we were scoring was a little different. We got to the lane and got to the foul line, which doesn’t always create assists,” said Clarke after the game.
Ryerson was able to reach the foul line 21 times and shot 73.9 per cent from the charity stripe. Paska and Pingue-Giles led the team with six attempts each.
If not for Ottawa’s second quarter adjustments and Ryerson’s poor three-point shooting the outcome of the game may have been drastically different.
“I thought more than anything that our defense lost some intensity. We gave up 21 points in the second quarter but only gave up 8 in the first. We weren’t as energized as we were at the start of the game,” added Clarke.
Despite the heated battle, the close game came down to a last second shot by Ottawa.
“Their last shot went in and ours didn’t, that’s how close this game was today,” added Clarke.
Following this loss, Ryerson falls to 7-3 on the season. They will look to bounce back on Jan. 29, when they take on the Laurentian University Voyageurs in Sudbury, Ont.