By Chris Sanders
The Ryerson Rams women’s basketball team opened their season with a 77-59 win against the York Lions on Gold Rush night at the Mattamy Athletic Centre on Oct. 24.
After a fifth-place finish at U SPORTS Final 8 tournament last March, the Rams picked up where they left off, controlling all but the second quarter of the game, and cruising past the Lions.
It was Rams guard Marin Scotten who had the hot hand from the very jump, scoring 11 out of Ryerson’s first 21 points to start the game.
Scotten finished the game with 24 points and 11 rebounds, two points shy of her career-high, shooting 9-15 on the night.
“It’s great to see [Scotten] kick-off the regular season with another great showing, I mean a double-double is pretty impressive,” said Rams head coach Carly Clarke. “She’s a great shooter, we know that but she’s scoring in a couple different ways and her rebounding is huge as well.”
Trading blows in a low scoring first quarter, both teams shot under 35 per cent from the field while also turning the ball over 17 times in just 10 minutes.
Scotten, who missed some preseason action with a sprained ankle, made two three-pointers on a 10-0 run to put the Rams up 18-10 to close the first quarter.
“I felt good, I was just trying to have fun with it and adjust to playing with a new team,” said Scotten.
“Obviously it’s fun when your shots go in and my teammates did a good job of finding the holes in their defence.”
High-intensity defence from the Rams, translated into good offence with back-to-back layups from forward Jama Bin-Edwards. A plethora of transition baskets put the Rams up double-digits with over two minutes remaining in the second quarter.
A buzzer beat from Lions guard Emma Jones to end the quarter brought York back within a two-possession ball game to close the half down 36-31.
The Lions kept within arms reach of the Rams, as forwards Megan MacLeod scored 10 points and Cyanna King added eight of York’s first 31 points.
York’s frontcourt struggled to keep it close in the second half as Ryerson scored 10 unanswered points to put the game out of reach. Behind a lively crowd on opening night, they picked it up and surged.
“Huge, huge, huge, it’s like [a] sixth person for us,” said Clarke, “Anytime we force the opponent to move their timeouts to the centre of the court, that’s a win.”
Marin Scotten capped off a strong performance nailing a contested three-pointer with 1:21 remaining in the game that brought the crowd to their feet before she checked out of the game.
With the win to start the season, coach Clarke was happy to see her veterans make their presence felt.
“We know we have to work as hard as we possibly can if we want to achieve what we want to achieve. That has to come first and foremost and it’s great to see how the team understands that and we’ve got some players that are really leading.”
UP NEXT: The Rams will take on the Brock Badgers on Oct. 26 at Brock Davis Gymnasium for their second game of the season