By Chris Blanchette
The Ryerson Rams women’s basketball team defeated the Western Mustangs 83-64 in the OUA quarterfinals to advance to the OUA Final Four.
Ryerson took an early 8-0 lead in the opening minutes of the first quarter and Western started 0-6 from the floor, and didn’t score their first points until the five-minute mark. The Rams held the Mustangs to six points and took a 21-6 lead into the second quarter.
Western woke up in the second, scoring as many points in the first three minutes as they did in the entire first quarter. Western was forced to take a timeout at 3:56 in the second quarter, trailing 36-17 after back-to-back baskets by Keneca Pingue-Giles.
At half, Ryerson leads 43-23. They forced 14 turnovers and while committing only nine fouls. Keneca Pingue-Giles had a quiet first quarter but unsurprisingly emerged as Ryerson’s leading scorer with 11 points in the first half.
Ryerson shot 50 per cent from the field (18-36) and 36.4 per cent (4-11) from three, while Western was held to 25.9 per cent (2-27) shooting and 2-7 from behind the arc.
Western opened up the second half with a 9-2 run and outscored Ryerson 20-15 in the quarter. In the fourth quarter the Rams got back to their scoring ways and dominated Western in the final minutes of the game, on route to their victory.
“We were a little bit casual to start. I think once we found our discipline defensively we started to clean things up and play our game offensively,” said head coach Carly Clarke.
Siki Jez had a game-high 22 points for the Rams, while Pingue-Giles added 21 points, eight assists, four steals and three rebounds.
Ryerson will now take on Windsor in the first round of the Final Four next weekend. If the Rams are going to win they will have to be far more dominant in rebounding than they were tonight, as Windsor is a large team.
“We tried to hold them [Western] to 12 offensive rebounds and they ended up with 21. So against bigger teams like Windsor we have to make sure we’re boxing out and being physical on both ends of the floor,” Pingue-Giles said.