Ryerson’s men’s and women’s basketball teams swept the court on Friday, each winning their first game of the season against Algoma University.
Both teams travelled to the George Leach Centre in Sault Ste. Marie, which is an eight-hour drive north from Ryerson University.
The Rams women’s team played first. From the first quarter, the game was close. The Algoma Thunderbirds’ defence proved challenging for the Rams offence at the beginning, limiting Ryerson’s movement on the court. The Thunderbirds took advantage of Ryerson’s openness in their three-two defence by getting offensive rebounds.
Although Algoma was a worthy opponent, Ryerson maintained their lead after the first half with a 41-32 score.
Rams’ forward Sofia Paska was key to the Rams’ offence. She was responsible for 24 points in total. Every point was crucial for the Rams since the Thunderbirds weren’t ready to give up a win easily. Algoma came back from the half with motivation, outscoring Ryerson in the third quarter, and closing its lead to just four points.
Fourth-year Paska came out strong in the final quarter. The Rams pressured their opponents, stopped Algoma’s offensive plays, and scored 24 baskets for a final score of 78-58.
The Ryerson men’s basketball team had a similar night with their Algoma opponents. Both teams fought for possession and hold of the game. By the first half, the game was 35-28 for Ryerson.
The Rams’ first game was also the debut for Ryerson’s highly anticipated new recruits. Guard Zubair Seyed, forward Liam O’Leary-Orange and centre Tanor Ngom made their own history that night. Seyed and O’Leary-Orange had 16 points in total between the two, and Ngom had 13 points, six blocks and eight rebounds by the end of the game.
The Rams’ performance, including those of the new players, helped keep Algoma from making a comeback in the second half, securing their lead. At the final buzzer, the score was 84-58 for the Rams.
The pressure is on Ryerson’s men’s basketball team as the defending Ontario University Athletics champions. They will be looking for their third straight OUA win this season.
The next matchup for Ryerson’s basketball teams is on Friday, Nov. 3 against the Windsor Lancers. The women are scheduled to play at 6 p.m. and the men at 8 p.m. at the St. Denis Athletic and Community Centre.