Photo by Hung Le

Rams fall short against No. 4 Ravens

By Ryan Bacic

TORONTO – It was an action-packed and thrilling night at the Mattamy Athletic Centre on Saturday, but unfortunately it was not the Rams night as the Carleton Ravens came away with a 55-43 win over Ryerson to remain undefeated on the season.

Heading into tonight’s contest, the stakes were insurmountably high.  Contesting with the lowest part of their season thus far, the Rams would have to pull themselves together in a big way to overcome the No. 4 Carleton Ravens.

“Being a presence on the board was important,” commented lead assistant coach Jess Roque on the team’s strategy heading into the night. “Carleton is one of the best schools in the nation in terms of rebounding, and I think we held our own today.”

The first half was very much a tale of two very different quarters for the Ryerson Rams.  Throughout the first ten minutes of play, the Rams showed they were capable of contending with, and besting, the No. 4 Ravens on every part of the court.

Defensively, the Rams shut down the majority of the Ravens offensive attempts holding Carleton to less than thirty-percent shooting from the field, and forcing a large portion of their shot attempts to beyond the arc.  

On the offensive end, the Rams showcased an increased aptitude towards faster ball rotation, opening up shot attempts that seemed to bewilder the Ravens defense.  Additionally, the Rams displayed that they understood the imperative nature of crashing the glass on both ends of the court.  Cara Tiemens (Newmarket, Ont.), Marin Scotten (Ottawa, Ont.), and Bronwyn Williams (Toronto, Ont.), all concluded the first half with five rebounds a piece.

Unfortunately, the Rams solid playing style in the first quarter would be rattled to its core in the next ten minutes of action.  Almost the moment the second quarter began the Ravens instituted full-court man-to-man defensive pressure, seemingly stopping Ryerson’s offense in its tracks.

And while the Rams maintained their fortified effort defensively, their stulted ability to connect offensively worked against them considerably, as the Ravens began to run up the scoreboard before the second quarter drew to a close.

“We were trying different things, in terms of finding ways to score.  Their [Carleton’s] length impacted us at the rim, so we struggled to find ways to score, so I think that’s where our slump happened in the second,” said Roque on the teams performance in the first half.

Coming back onto the court for the second half, the story was yet again, one of two very different quarters.

The Rams stormed onto the court for the third quarter, dominating on both ends, and marking the only time in the contest in which the Rams would outscore the Ravens throughout ten minutes of action.

Through consistent defensive pressure and a relentless pursuit of rebounds, the Rams were able to draw within three points with less than three minutes to play, as the home crowd awoke with a thunderous roar of approval.

“We started pressing, and that’s what helped fuel our offense,” commented Roque on the team’s playing style in the third quarter. “Anytime we can force turnovers, I thought we had a great execution rate in terms of forcing those turnovers and converting.”

However, the Ravens were able to put a stop the Rams surge, as they managed to run away with a victory in the fourth quarter to remain undefeated on the season.

When pressed for a player of the game, Roque selected Cara Tiemens.

“The things that we are asking of her defensively and from a leadership standpoint, she has really stepped it up,” stated Roque on Tiemens performance.

Tiemens would conclude the contest with 15 points, 8 rebounds and 2 assists on the evening.  This tremendous effort provides her with 32 points, 15 rebounds and three assists across the entirety of the Rams Gold Rush weekend.

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