Paska’s strong second-half leads Rams to win over York Lions

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By Libaan Osman

The Ryerson Rams women’s basketball team took care of business against their cross-town rivals the York Lions as they controlled the second half, winning 71-54 on Jan. 12 at the Tait McKenzie Centre.

Down 38-43 at the half, the Rams would lean on their fifth-year forward Sofia Paska to take control of this game in the last two quarters.

Dropping 11 points on 4-5 shooting and making three of her five shots from the free throw line in the second half, Paska finished with 13 points and eight rebounds.

Paska struggled in the first half to catch a flow offensively, shooting just 1-4 from the field with two points, but the Rams continued to look Paska’s way and she would eventually deliver.

“I thought she asserted herself more to get good position and we were able to get the ball to her,” said Rams head coach Carly Clarke. “It was a combination of us looking for her and her working for it. She’s such a tough presence that it creates things for everyone else.”

The Rams managed to hold the Lions to 13.2 per cent shooting on 38 shots in the second half, allowing only 14 points in the last 20 minutes of play. Ryerson also held York scoreless for the last five minutes of play, to earn them their 12th win of the season.

In a playoff-like atmosphere, it was second-year guard Jama Bin-Edward that rose to the occasion, leading the Rams in scoring with 17 points while recording her first career double-double with 10 rebounds on the night.

Edward also had three assists to go along with two steals, as she continues to make her presence felt on both ends of the floor for Ryerson.

“She’s just getting better every game, she had some tough passing decisions today but overall she just finds ways to impact plays,” said Clarke. “Today she did that by getting good rebounding position, she’s starting to understand that a bit better and her length is so impactful as well.”

It wasn’t all pretty for the Rams, who allowed the Lions to get hot from long distance early, connecting on five triples in the first half and shooting a dazzling 55.6 per cent from deep.

“York is a very, very gritty and aggressive team,” said Edward. “I don’t think in the first half we came out with as much aggressiveness and grit as they did but in the second half we adjusted to their defence.”

Lions guard Emma Jonas hurt the Rams in the first 20 minutes, knocking down two threes to give herself eight points on 3-5 shooting. Ryerson would focus in on Jonas in the second half, holding her to zero points on her last six shot attempts.

UP NEXT: The Rams will take on the Laurentian Voyageurs at Coca-Cola Court on Jan. 18. Tip-off is scheduled for 6 p.m.

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