Ryerson falls to UPEI in national quarter-finals

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By Libaan Osman

Ryerson women’s basketball guard Marin Scotten scored a game-high 31 points and 10 rebounds—but it wasn’t enough as the team fell 70-75 to the University of Prince Edward Islands (UPEI) in the quarter-finals of the U Sports Final 8 tournament.

Scotten dropped 12 of her 31 points and pushed Ryerson to a 56-46 lead to close the third quarter. 

The third-year guard was all over the glass with seven offensive rebounds as a semi-finals appearance at the Final 8 stared right in front of them. But the UPEI Panthers had other plans, responding emphatically with a 17-2 run in the final frame. 

Ryerson didn’t hit a single field goal in the fourth quarter until the 1:30 minute mark, down by as many as 11. 

“[UPEI] changed their defensive matchup which disrupted our offensive rhythm,” said Rams head coach Carly Clarke. “Maybe, I should have called a timeout. It just felt like we had a couple [of] good looks that didn’t go in.”

With their championship aspirations on the line, they would need a huge comeback to erase their 11-point deficit.

Rams guard Hayley Robertson, who had just seven points after 30 minutes of play, dropped 10 points and three huge triples in the fourth to give Ryerson some life. 

“Hayley hit some crazy shots to get us some momentum,” said Scotten. “I thought we had good pressure on defence.”

The late run by Ryerson cut UPEI’s lead to just 70-73 with 17 seconds remaining. 

UPEI didn’t seem fazed whatsoever, hitting 13 of their 17 made free throws to close the game late. Panthers guard Jenna Mae Ellsworth, who was named the U Sports player of the year, dropped 22 points, 13 rebounds and five assists to lead her team to a five-point victory.

This was the first time Ryerson and UPEI have ever faced each other. 

Rams forward Rachel Farwell did not play in the quarter-finals matchup due to a sprained ankle. Entering the playoffs, Farwell scored in double-digits in nine of Ryerson’s last 10 regular season games.

The team missed Farwell’s sharpshooting ability in the afternoon, as they began the game 1-11 from long distance. 

“We took a couple early threes that weren’t good shots, we weren’t getting our rebounding going,” said Clarke. “If [Farwell] is in the game, it’s different. But you gotta play with the cards that you have. The players that we had today played their asses off.”

The team was also without forward Jama Bin-Edward, who’s been sidelined with a season-ending knee injury.

Ryerson had four players finish in double-digits. Forward Bronwyn Williams chipped in with 10 points, nine rebounds and three blocks.

The Rams will now be competing in consolation semi-finals tomorrow. 

Similarly to last season, Ryerson was eliminated in the opening quarter-finals matchup, but went on to win the consolation finals and earned themselves a fifth-place finish. 

UP NEXT: Ryerson will play at the Raven’s Nest tomorrow against the loser of Calgary and Brock to begin consolation action. Tip-off is set for 1:00 p.m.

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