With the teams ranked in the national top 10 together for the first time, it was a double-header that might have showcased how far the school’s basketball program had come.
Dismantling was the word of the night. The women’s basketball team took apart the Voyageurs 79-42. And the men’s team? Well it only managed to dismantle the backboard.
To the crowd’s disappointment, the guys match up between Ryerson and Laurentian was postponed after Aaron Best shattered the backboard during a pre-game dunk.
The game was delayed for an excruciatingly long time.
According to Brendan Cormier, manager of maintenance and engineering at the Mattamy Athletic Centre, the cause of the backboard’s malfunction was a bolt that was sheered when the glass shattered. In order to fix the backboard, staff had to find a special bolt to match the broken one.
The problem was that the only matching bolts were on another backboard upstairs. In order to fix the it, they would’ve had to take apart that goal, retrieve the bolts and then replace them on the backboard on the main court.
After an hour, Ryerson decided to postpone the game.
And with that the men’s team didn’t get its chance to complete the double-header sweep on this historic night.
The men’s team is third best in the country because it has the league-wide best defence, which has led them to a 4-0 record.
The women’s team has joined its Rams brethren in the Canadian Interuniversity Sports top 10 rankings, coming in at No. 8. The night’s win improves its record to 4-1, and some other numbers tell the story.
The Rams dominated the first half, especially the first quarter after which they led 20-3. They held Laurentian to just 13 points first-half points and an 11.4 field-goal percentage. The Voyageurs only dropped four of their 35 shots from the field.
At the other end of the court, the Rams drained 16 of 33 shots, including 7 of 12 from three-point range, which was good for 44 points in the half.
Leading the charge, as always, was Keneca Pingue-Giles, who drove the lane with ferocity. She led the team with a game-high 15 points, a tally that’s a shade lower than her per-game average this year, 17.5. Her points-per-game average is fourth in the Ontario University Athletics (OUA).
The starting five was strong with Cara Tiemens, Annie Sokoloff and Silvana Jez each posting 10 or more points.
A team effort propelled the Rams over the Voyageurs including strong defence that matches the men’s strengths. The women out-rebounded Laurentian 46 to 24 and kept their field-goal percentage to just 21 percent for the game. They were 0 for 13 from beyond the arc.
The Rams, in contrast, seemed to score at will. They scored on nearly half their field goal attempts. They were 7 for 12 from three-point range in the first half. And when a team shoots as well as the Rams or as bad as the Voyageurs, the game is usually over really quickly.
With such a hot start, Laurentian never really stood a chance and the game was over early for the women’s Voyageurs team. Unfortunately for everyone else, the men’s game was over before it started.