Jones, Sokoloff lead Rams basketball over Toronto

Both the women’s and men’s Rams basketball teams won by double-digits on Wednesday night against the Toronto Varsity Blues at the Mattamy Athletic Centre (MAC).

The women’s team used an impressive fourth quarter to pull away from Toronto for an 85-67 win. It was the 15th conference win for the Rams this season, the most in one season in the women’s basketball program’s history. The men’s side won each quarter and shot 52.2 per cent from the field on their way to a 104-68 victory.

In the women’s game, the Rams had 63 rebounds, 21 more than Toronto, and 21 second-chance points.

“We missed 50 shots, so that’s part of it,” Rams head coach Carly Clarke said. “But I think 26 of (the rebounds) were offensive, which is an incredible number. And that’s a credit to our bigs, but (also) everybody rebounding their butts off.”

Siki Jez had 14 points and 10 rebounds while Annie Sokoloff had a career-high 17 rebounds to go along with 12 points and three blocks.

“She’s just getting to the right spot, battling,” Clarke said of Sokoloff.

The win moves Ryerson to 15-3 and drops Toronto to 8-8. The Rams have won nine straight games.

“Ending my career this way is the best way possible,” said Sokoloff, a fifth-year forward. “I’m so proud of the team and it makes me emotional, just because it is my last year and I get to finish my career on this note. Hopefully more to come.”

The Rams dominated the rebound count and took care of the ball in the first half, but shot 34.1 per cent from the field. They had a 38-32 half-time lead. Toronto took a slim lead for part of the third quarter but Ryerson was ahead by two after three. After that, Ryerson pulled away.

“In the third quarter we all took a deep breath together, like ‘Let’s just slow down and go with the flow,’” said Keneca Pingue-Giles, who had 20 points and six assists.  “And I think that really helped us, defensively and offensively.”

Green

Kadeem Green protecting the ball. (Alex Lyle / Ryersonian Staff)

The Rams won the fourth quarter 31-15. They hit all three of their successful three-pointers for the game in the first five minutes of the final quarter.

In the men’s game, the Rams won each quarter led by Aaron Best and Jahmal Jones. Best finished with 27 points and eight boards and Jones had 21 points, six rebounds and 12 assists.

The win was Ryerson’s 10th consecutive, meaning the Rams have had a 10-game winning streak in three straight seasons. Ryerson is now 16-2 and Toronto is 4-12. The 104 points were a season high for the Rams.

“We’ve been talking about our depth being a strength all year long, so for those young kids to get an opportunity to play is very, very important for us,” said Rams head coach Roy Rana.  “You never know when you’re going to be called on in a big game and I want them confident and comfortable that they can come in and contribute.”

Ryerson shot 60 per cent from the field in the first half on their way to a 52-34 halftime lead. They increased the margin in the second half, with bench players contributing significantly.

Ryerson was presented the BIA Cup after the game, which is a new trophy that goes to the winner of the season series between Ryerson and Toronto in men’s and women’s basketball combined. Ryerson has won three of the four meetings this season, with a season-high of 104 points in the conference games last night.

Both the women’s and men’s team play again on Friday, Feb. 20 against the Queen’s Golden Gaels at the MAC. It’s the last regular-season game for both Rams sides.

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