The Ryerson Rams wrote one of the most important chapters in their history Saturday night capturing the first two provincial banners for the basketball programs.
The men knocked off the Carleton Ravens 73-68 at the Mattamy Athletic Centre in Toronto, while the women’s team beat the Gee-Gees 66-60 in Ottawa.
The games were played concurrently. The men’s team and their fans celebrated together on their home court and a scant two minutes later a similar scene played out at the University of Ottawa for the women’s team.
In the women’s match-up, Sofia Paska led the way with 19 points and 12 rebounds while both Mariah Nunes and Silvana Jez added 17 points and eight rebounds each.
Ryerson and Ottawa played a spirited first quarter with the visiting team holding a 16-15 lead after the opening frame.
Jez led the Rams with five points. Ottawa held an advantage in rebounds with 15 while Ryerson was not too far behind with 10. The Rams were able to capitalize off of turnovers with seven points while limiting their opponent to only one point off of their six turnovers in the quarter.
Ryerson would add to their lead going into halftime with a 35-29 advantage. Ryerson picked up their game defensively finishing the half with 22 rebounds, closing the gap on Ottawa who went into halftime with 23.
Nunes led the team in scoring with 12 points while adding five rebounds, with Paska adding10 points and six rebounds. Catherine Traer had 11 points and Sarah Besselink added 10 points to lead the way for Ottawa going into halftime. Ryerson was dominant in the paint in the first half outscoring Ottawa 24-16.
At the beginning of the second half Ottawa came out strong. They closed in on Ryerson, who at the time only had a one-point advantage. Ryerson was able to overcome the strong push by Ottawa at the end of the third quarter to keep a 51-46 lead heading into the final quarter.
Ryerson did its best to hold onto the lead in the fourth quarter but Ottawa refused to go away quietly, cutting the Rams lead to one.
The Rams pulled away in the end. Like the team had done all season, it was successful in forcing their opponent to commit costly turnovers. Ryerson was able to capitalize with 20 points off of 16 Ottawa turnovers, which was the difference in the end.
Ryerson continued its dominance in the paint in the second half, outscoring Ottawa 38-28 in that area.
The Rams also finished the games with the edge in rebounds 54-50, with an impressive 37 of those being defensive rebounds.
Paska was named the player of the game as the Etobicoke native stepped up in arguably the biggest game of her collegiate career.
The women’s Rams move on to the CIS National Championship hosted by in Fredericton N.B. from March 17-20. The men’s nationals will be hosted by the University of British Columbia over the same weekend.
The moments after the men’s win were captured by journalism student Luke Galati.
— Luke Galati (@LukeGalati) March 13, 2016
Fans took to Twitter to record the moment and reflect on the history.
— Roger Lajoie (@TheRog590) March 13, 2016