TORONTO - The No. 6 nationally ranked Ryerson Rams women's basketball team outlasted a defensively sound Lakehead Thunderwolves squad to record a 69-66 victory and pick up their seventh straight conference win.

Sofia Paska (Etobicoke, Ont.) led the Rams offensively with 18 points while the backcourt duo of Kellie Ring (Ottawa, Ont.) and Cara Tiemens (Newmarket, Ont.) was instrumental with 14 and 13 points, respectively.

Both teams struggled to maintain momentum throughout the contest, leading to an entertaining, back-and-forth affair. Lakehead jumped out to an early lead and it took until the 7:43 mark of the first quarter for the Rams to take their first lead at 17-15. Ryerson closed the quarter with a 20-15 advantage.

The Rams looked to be in control in the second quarter as they continued to settle into their offence while executing better at the defensive end. Ryerson doubled up the Thunderwolves 18-9 in the second stanza to hold a 38-24 lead at the break.

In the third quarter the teams traded baskets until a late 10-0 run by the Thunderwolves closed the gap to just four points. Ryerson's Nicole DiDomenico (Niagara Falls, Ont.) hit a three-pointer to round out the quarter's scoring with the Rams holding onto a 52-45 lead.

The Rams looked to be in control midway through the fourth as Ryerson extended their lead to nine points at 64-55 on a pair of C'airah Gabriel-Robinson (Mississauga, Ont.) free throws with 2:32 remaining. From there, Lakehead's three point shooting pulled them back into contention.

Nikki Ylagan connected from long range with 1:00 remaining to make it a five point game. After a great effort from Ryerson's Ring killed 20 seconds and made the score 67-60, Lakehead's Bridget O'Reilly was the next to hit from downtown with 13 seconds left.

Now a four-point game, the Rams had the chance to take more time off the clock but an offensive foul before the ball had been inbounded gave the Thunderwolves another opportunity to inch closer, and Ylagan connected again to pull within one at 67-66. 

That was as close as Lakehead would come, however, as Ring was fouled on the ensuing inbounds play with just 2.5 seconds remaining and she converted both attempts to finalize the 69-66 victory for the Rams.

Ryerson improves to 7-1 on the season while Lakehead drops to 2-6. The Rams are back in action on Saturday night when they host the Guelph Gryphons starting at 6:00 on OBA Night. That game will be live on OUA.tv and Rogers TV Toronto.