Rams basketball tops Lakehead

The women’s and men’s basketball teams extended both of their winning streaks with wins over the Lakehead Thunderwolves on Saturday night.

The women’s team overcame 21 turnovers to beat the Thunderwolves 83-75, upping their winning run to eight games. The men’s team followed that with a commanding opening quarter that led to an 80-65 victory, its ninth straight. It was Think Pink night at the Mattamy Athletic Centre (MAC), which was for support of breast cancer awareness and fundraising for research.

Lakehead’s Jylisa Williams was coming off an OUA-record 50-point game on Friday. On this night she finished with 24 points on 7 of 20 shooting against the Rams.

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“They have one of the best players in the country, and I thought we did a good job of limiting her,” Rams head coach Carly Clarke said.

“I knew (Williams) had 50 points, she was going to be confident, but I didn’t want her to score 50 points on me or on my team,” said guard Keneca Pingue-Giles, who had 24 points, 9 rebounds and 7 steals.

The Rams are now 14-3, which equals the most wins in one season for the program. The 2009-10 team went 14-8. The eight-game winning streak is the longest in program history, according to a Ryerson athletics media release.  Lakehead had its eight-game winning streak broken and fell to 12-4.

Rams guard C'airah Gabriel-Robinson

Rams guard C’airah Gabriel-Robinson. (Alex Lyle/Ryersonian Staff)

Williams and the Thunderwolves were kept quiet by the Rams in the first quarter. Pingue-Giles had 9 points in the period to help Ryerson to a 17-10 lead at quarter-time.

Both sides hit a trio of three-pointers in the second, but Ryerson’s lead expanded to 14 points by halftime.

The Thunderwolves got within six late in the third quarter before being down 54-62 at the last break.

“Our transition defence failed us a little bit and they got too many easy scores,” Rams head coach Carly Clarke said of the third quarter.

The Rams turned the ball over regularly late in the fourth, but managed to keep the Thunderwolves from getting any closer than seven points down the stretch.

“We played a little bit fast and a little bit softer than we need to,” Clarke said of Ryerson’s response to full-court pressure.

A three-point play by Sofia Paska with 1:01 left pushed the margin to 10 points. Paska finished with a career-high 20 points.

In the men’s game, Ryerson capitalised on Lakehead turnovers early on the way to a 29-3 lead after one quarter. It was an up-tempo start for the Rams, highlighted by a sequence that saw a Jahmal Jones-to-Aaron Best alley-oop. They followed up with a three point shot in transition on the next possession.

“We know we want to get out and run because that’s to our advantage,” said Jones, who had 22 points, 10 assists and 6 steals.

Lakehead had 29 turnovers which led to 29 Ryerson points. “Defensively, we were pretty good,” Rams head coach Roy Rana said. “Our hands were very active, got a lot of deflections, a lot of tips, and that led to turnovers.”

The Thunderwolves responded after the first quarter by reducing the deficit to 24 at halftime and 16 after three quarters.

“A little bit disappointed that we didn’t sustain the same type of effort,” Rana said. “It’s difficult when you go up (with) that much of a lead. But certainly it exposed some weaknesses.”

Lakehead cut the gap to 12 points with 8:25 to play, but Jones scored 4 points to begin an 8-0 run for Ryerson that extinguished the threat. Best finished with 21 points and 7 rebounds while Kadeem Green added 20 points and 6 boards.

Ryerson moves to 15-2 and Lakehead is now 9-7.

Both the women’s and men’s team next play on Wednesday night against the Toronto Varsity Blues at the MAC.


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