By: Hailey Salivan
The Ryerson Rams women’s basketball team defeated the Laurier Golden Hawks 86-75 on Friday night at the Mattamy Athletic Centre for their fourth straight win.
The Golden Hawks remained consistent from behind the arch, while the Rams seemed sluggish at times on defense. Despite the errors, they only trailed Laurier 21-19 at half
The Rams got on the board first with points coming points the foul line. Laurier would quickly tie it with a three-pointer and carry the momentum for the majority of the frame. In the second quarter the Rams vamped up their defensive intensity and took the lead early. Their press was effective and caused the Golden Hawks to cough the ball up often, allowing them to convert in transition and take the lead 44-37.
The Rams came out running in the second half lead by Keneca Pingue-Giles, whose defense presence was just as noticeable as her offensive transition.Causing turnovers, hitting key baskets and making heads-up plays, Goles was on point the entire game.
As the quarter dwindled, fans erupted in an MVP chant for Pingue-Giles after she made yet another highlight-reel play.
The Golden Hawks would fight back to cut the deficit to single digits with the Rams leading 63-56 heading into the final frame.
The Rams kept a strong hold on the lead going up by ten after a basket from Silvana Jez. Momentum seemed to be swinging in the Golden Hawks’ favour after the Rams went three minutes without scoring, forcing head coach Carly Clarke to call a timeout.
With a new sense of urgency, the Rams came out with five unanswered points and remained in control of the game until time expired.
While the Rams dominated most of the game, the Golden Hawks shooting from behind the arch kept them within reach. They shot 33 per cent from the three-point-line compared to Ryerson’s 1.
“We gave them too many looks especially early, but as our defensive intensity rose, we sped them up and they couldn’t get the same rhythm,” said head coach Carly Clarke.
Four of the Rams starters finished with double-digits, lead by Pingue-Giles’ and Jez’s game-high 22 points. Sofia Paska and Mariah Nunes continued their consistent play adding 14 and 12 points respectively.
Jez, who is in her final year as a Ram, says the team’s ability to share the scoring load is one of their best attributes.
“We are a very versatile team and can score from anywhere and that’s what makes us so great,” Jez said.
But despite the win and the offensive production, the need to clean up sluggish defensive play is a large take away for both Clarke and Jez.
“I think we continue to prove we can score pretty easily,” said Clarke. “But today we didn’t have the urgency defensively that I wanted and is needed to win this conference.”
With the win the Ryerson improves to 11-3 on the season, while Laurier falls to 6-8. The Rams will return to the court Saturday Feb. 13 for their last home game of the season.