By Reid Kelly
The Ryerson Rams women’s basketball team put on a defensive clinic as they beat the Lakehead Thunderwolves 74-45 on Nov. 2 at the Mattamy Athletic Centre.
Ryerson’s win over Lakehead was their second in as many nights, completing the weekend series sweep.
Despite a slow start offensively, the Rams came out of the gate ferociously on the defensive end, holding Lakehead to just eight points in the first quarter.
Lakehead found themselves on their heels for much of the frame, including back-to-back turnovers at the hands of Rams forward Jama Bin-Edward, closing the quarter trailing 18-8.
A pair of threes from Thunderwolves guard Kielly McDonough sparked an 8-2 run to cut the Rams lead to four in the second quarter. They outscored Ryerson 21-19 in the frame to climb back into the game, ending the half trailing by just eight.
“We weren’t shooting the ball as well as we were yesterday, and that showed in our halftime score,” said Bin-Edward. “But making sure that we came out in the third quarter and got multiple defensive stops was really important.”
The Rams did just that, starting the second half on an 8-0 run.
Lakehead couldn’t convert another three-pointer for the rest of the evening. Ryerson held them to just 16 points on 30.8 per cent shooting in the second half, as they pulled away to a comfortable 29-point win.
A pesky Rams squad was all over the Thunderwolves defensively, forcing 24 turnovers on the night. They were quick to take advantage of that, with 27 points off their turnovers.
“We were really keying in on a couple items at that end of the floor and I thought our focus was pretty good,” said Rams head coach Carly Clarke. “We know if we want to be great, we have to be a great defensive team, so we moved forward in that today.”
Bin-Edward led the attack defensively for the Rams, contributing two steals and two blocks to go along with her five points on the evening.
“I just have an instinct for where the ball goes,” said Bin-Edward. “I tend to be in the right spot at the right time when balls are being thrown. It’s about making sure we’re in the right spots so we can execute.”
Ryerson was also assisted by a stellar performance from first-year guard Taite Cleland, who logged 17 minutes off the bench. Cleland contributed nine points, four rebounds and two assists.
“She’s confident, she’s skilled and she’s working hard to improve and find her way out there,” said Clarke. “She plays really, really hard which gives her a chance out there all the time.”
Rams forward Stefanija Mrvaljevic led the Rams in scoring with 14 points while veteran guard Hayley Roberston poured in 12 points on 3-4 three-point shooting.
UP NEXT: The Rams are back in action on Nov. 8 as they host the Windsor Lancers at the Mattamy Athletic Centre.