By Chris Sanders
The Ryerson Rams women’s basketball team thrashed the Toronto Varsity Blues 75-56 in their first matchup of the season at the Mattamy Athletic Centre on Nov. 27.
With bragging rights on the line between the two downtown schools, the Rams looked to extend their win streak against the Blues to two games.
In the 19-point win, Ryerson was without guard Leyki Sorra and forward Stefanija Mrvaljevic for the second straight game.
But that didn’t matter as Rams guard Marin Scotten had the green light all night, dropping 22-point on 8-16 shooting in the team’s seventh win of the season. Scotten nailed four threes and came four points shy of tying her career-high.
“She’s getting more shots. She’s a larger focal part of our offence, last year we had a forward that was the centre of our offence and taking a lot of shots,” said Rams head coach Carly Clarke. “And now we have different people stepping up to that. And our team is doing a great job of finding her too.”
After averaging 10 points last year, Scotten has scored 16-plus points five times this season.
On paper, it seemed as though the Rams would earn a comfortable win at home while the Varsity Blues—losers of all but one game this year— were bound to suffer their seventh loss in eight games. But it didn’t come that easy, at least in the first half.
The Rams got off to a defensively sound start, diving for loose balls, racking up four blocks while not allowing the Varsity Blues to score in the opening four minutes of the game.
But Toronto would respond with a 14-3 run, putting Ryerson in foul trouble and converting on six of eight free throw attempts to take a four-point lead in the opening quarter.
“They mix things up, they’re gritty, they’re always competitive and ready to play so we tried to talk about taking care of the ball and making sure their changing defence didn’t disrupt us too much,” said Clarke.
As a unit, the Rams would shoot a poor 35.3 per cent from the field at halftime.
Rams forward Jama Bin-Edward also struggled offensively in the first two quarters, missing all five of her shot attempts.
Looking for a spark in the second quarter, the Rams forced 10 turnovers, contributing to a dozen of Ryerson’s 24 points in the stanza. The Rams took a 34-28 lead at halftime.
With some help from Scotten’s 12 points in the second half, the team was able to overcome their early game struggles and skip past the Varsity Blues.
“I think the second half was a lot better than the first. We definitely started very slow, especially defensively,” said Scotten. “We weren’t really playing how we could so we wanted to have a really good start in the third quarter and I thought we moved the ball really well and didn’t force any shots.”
With a win against Toronto, Ryerson overtook McMaster for second place in the Ontario University Athletics Central Division.
UP NEXT: The Rams will look to extend their win streak to three games against the Laurier Golden Hawks at the Athletic Complex Gym on Nov. 30.