By Devin Jones
The Ryerson Rams women’s basketball team won their first game of the Canadian Interuniversity Sports Championship Thursday night, defeating the University of Regina Cougars at the Richard J. Currie Center.
Lead by newly named CIS female athlete of the year, Keneca Pingue-Giles, the Rams were able to establish their fast break style of play early on, and with the help of their three-point game, Ryerson won its first game of the 2016 tournament, defeating the fifth seeded Cougars.
The back and forth nature, and tight defensive play that was a staple throughout, began early on in the first quarter, with sophomore guard Sofia Paska making her presence felt on the in the paint. Within the first five minutes, Giles knocked down six points and the Rams held an early 14-11 lead. Paska’s offensive streak early on was on full display as well, scooping up rebounds and six points in the first. Although Regina’s depth and talent was on full display as well, with five different Cougar players recording points on the stats sheet.
The Rams OUA gold winning talent was on full display in the second half, as Giles knocked down multiple three-point shots within the frame. Second year guard Tiemens got on the board as well, knocking down a three point midway through the second quarter. Veteran Silvana Jez was able to lend support all over the court, showing her ability to create offensive opportunities on both ends of the court. At the end of the first half the Rams held a 36-34 point lead, while Giles tallied 19 points.
The second half began the same way the first one ended, with the Rams jockeying for position and Giles making it obvious as to why she was given CIS honours. Jez’s aggressive defensive play came into play during the third, as she pulled down four rebounds throughout. The same goes for second year forward Katherine Follis as she brought down six of her own in the third. But Regina wasn’t without their own scoring presence as forward Charlotte Knot was able to find holes within the Rams defence to accumulate 12 points in the third.
As the Rams entered the final quarter of their first CIS championships game of 2016, the veteran precense began to take over and the Rams began to extend their lead to 73-61 with three minutes left to play in the game. But Regina was able to push back to within four points of the lead at one point pinning the Rams with a 73-70 lead. Giles’ 29 points coupled with Paska’s 18 points and 10 rebounds, helped lift the Rams to their first victory at the national championships. The Rams will play again Saturday during the SportsNet semi final match-up