Rams grind out a victory over Laurier
TORONTO – A career high 22 points from Siki Jez (Kitchener, Ont.) helped the Rams gut out a tough 86-75 victory over the Laurier Golden Hawks on Friday night at the Mattamy Athletic Centre.
“I knew I had to step up and my shots were finally falling and I’ve been struggling to make my layups but something happened today and…I got some confidence and just kept going,” said Jez on her 22-point night.
The momentum in the first quarter swung back and forth between the two teams in a tightly contested frame but a long two from Laurier’s Nicole Morrison at the buzzer gave the visitors a slim 21-19 lead after ten minutes.
From opening tip until about midway through the second quarter the Rams coaching staff was urging for intensity at the defensive end. That intensity finally switched on coming out of the second quarter media timeout and the Rams built a six point lead. That margin increased to seven at halftime with the Rams leading 44-37 at the break.
“We did a great job of scoring tonight but I just thought we didn’t have the urgency on defence that I wanted and that I think is necessary to win this conference,” said head coach Carly Clarke after the game. “We started to find it in moments but still not consistently enough.”
Out of the half the Rams rebounded the ball well at the defensive end which led to some easy transition buckets as the home side quickly extended their lead into double digits. The Golden Hawks, however, continued to shoot the ball well from three point range and they hung around to trail just 66-58 after three quarters.
In the fourth the Rams offence went dry for three straight minutes which saw the Golden Hawks close to within four points at 71-67, leading to a Ryerson timeout. Out of the timeout the Rams scored five quick points to provide some separation.
With 2:25 remaining the Rams lead climbed to 11 which put the game out of reach.
Laurier’s Morrison finished with a team-high 17 points and four assists in the loss.
The Rams improve to 11-3 on the season and move into sole possession of first place in the OUA East division while Laurier drops to 6-8 on the year. Ryerson has a full week off until their next game on February 13 at home against the Algoma Thunderbirds.