By Peter Ash
Despite the absence of star forward Sofia Paska, the Ryerson Rams women’s basketball team pushed the undefeated Carleton Ravens to the brink of defeat on Saturday night. Unfortunately for the Rams, Carleton remained undefeated with a 55-43 victory at the Coca-Cola Court.
“Obviously, not having having [Paska] in the lineup changed the [rotation] for us,” Ryerson head coach Carly Clarke said. “Carleton’s one of the best teams in the country right now, and I thought we really competed with them despite missing a key element of our offence today.”
The fourth consecutive loss moves the Rams to 10-8 on the season, placing them in a tie with York for fourth in the OUA East. Meanwhile, Carleton is now 18-0, keeping themselves atop the OUA with a ridiculous 36 points.
Ryerson had a rough night from the field in this contest, and it showed early. Carleton’s stingy defence created a boatload of problems for the Rams early, forcing the home team to shoot a mere 26.7 per cent in the opening frame.
Despite being down by as much as 13 in the second, the Rams continued to battle, with fourth-year guard Cara Tiemens leading the way, scoring five of her 15 points in the quarter. First-year guard Jama Bin-Edward excelled on the defensive end, scrapping for loose balls while racking up two steals.
“I think Jama’s been playing great,” Clarke said. “Even though [Bin-Edward] hasn’t necessarily converted offensively, her length and athleticism (has) been impactful.”
Down 29-17 to start the second half, the Rams came out blazing, hitting Carleton with a barrage of buckets to cut the game to single digits.
Ryerson’s ability to create gave them a shot to make things interesting in the fourth quarter. However, their quick spurt didn’t last long, as the Ravens came up with a 8-3 run to give themselves some breathing room, and eventually, the victory.
The Rams’ ability to keep the game close against the 18-0 Ravens without their star player was huge. Even though they didn’t get the win, the squad showed it was moving in the right direction, even as Ryerson’s record slouches toward .500, continuing to challenge teams with superior records will play a significant part in how the Rams finish as the season plays on.
UP NEXT: The Rams will look to snap their four-game losing streak when they take on the University of Toronto Varsity Blues on Feb. 2. Tip-off is scheduled for 6:00 p.m.