Farwell’s flamethrower helps Rams torch UPEI in opening round of Final 8

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By Gavin Axelrod

The Rams women’s basketball team is off to the semi-finals at the 2022 U Sports Final 8 National Championship in Kingston, Ont., after an 80-49 win over the University of Prince Edward Island (UPEI) Panthers on Thursday. 

Rams guard Rachel Farwell had a game-high 25-points and connected on seven threes in the afternoon. It was a meaningful game for Farwell, who was sidelined with an injury during the team’s appearance at the 2020 Final 8 in Ottawa.  

“Today felt really good,” said Farwell. “I was pretty disappointed to not be able to perform for us last year, so I had a little bit of a chip on my shoulder this year.” 

Farwell shot the lights out from the get go in Thursday’s matchup. The third-year scored 11 points in the opening quarter, which accounted for nearly half of her points in the game. 

After ten minutes of play the two teams were relatively even at a 21-16 score. In addition, they played fundamentally sound basketball with two turnovers each. However, that would quickly change in the second. 

Ryerson’s defence, which helped them mount a 22-point comeback in the Critelli Cup final, was on full display in Thursday’s second quarter. The Rams held the Panthers to just eight points in the final 10 minutes before halftime. On the flip side, the number one ranked team at the tournament torched their opponent with 20 points in the quarter. 

“We take pride in our full court presence and just having that pressure over 40 minutes,” said U Sports women’s basketball Coach of The Year Carly Clarke. “I thought it set the tone really early on and set the tone that we were gonna control what they were doing offensively.” 

Rams guard Mikaela Dodig, who was named a U Sports Second-Team All-Canadian Wednesday night, helped pad her team’s lead with four points in the frame. Dodig had a well-rounded performance Thursday afternoon, scoring 13 points, grabbing three rebounds and adding a game-high five assists. 

The Rams’ dominant second-quarter helped them head into the halftime break with a 41-24 lead. 

“As a point guard and facilitator for the team … I love giving them the ball so they can do just that,” said Dodig. 

The Rams didn’t let up in the third quarter, and at one point even took a 30-point lead. Their defence also held UPEI to 15 points in the frame and 0-3 from three-point range. 

A commanding lead with under four minutes left in the final quarter allowed Clarke to empty the bench. With 1:36 left in the game the Rams were up 77-49, before clinching the 80-49 win. 

It’s the tenth time this season the Rams have held their opponents to 50 points or less in a contest. 

“We just gotta shift our focus to the next one, it’s nice to have some good momentum coming out of the game,” said Farwell. “We’re on a mission this year.” 

UP NEXT: The Rams will face either Acadia or Brock Saturday at 3 p.m. in a semi-final matchup.

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