Photo by Alex D'Addese

Rams shutout Lakers in first half leading to rout

By Andrea Elliott
TORONTO - The Ryerson Rams women's basketball team put forth a dominant defensive effort in the first half, holding the Nipissing Lakers scoreless for a full 20 minutes en route to a 73-35 win on Friday night at the Mattamy Athletic Centre.

BOXSCORE

Playing in front of their home fans for the first time this season, the Rams delivered an incredible performance. The Rams held Nipissing to 0-for-24 shooting from the floor and did not send the Lakers to the charity stripe in the opening 20 minutes. Ryerson also forced 17 turnovers in the first half alone, leading to 12 steals.

"We've been keying in on the defensive end of the floor for the past few weeks and, score or no score, our process was great. We're really excited about that; the girls executed the game plan and you could feel their energy come off that," said head coach Carly Clarke following the game.

The defence generated some easy buckets for the Rams, but the home side also shot the ball efficiently, posting a 58.1% clip from the floor in the opening 20 minutes. The historic start had the Rams up 41-0 at the break.

A cheer went up from the Rams faithful as Nipissing got on the board early in the third quarter to break the scoreless streak, and the Lakers put forward a respectable second half effort. Nipissing actually outscored Ryerson 35-32 in the second half but it was much too large of a hole for the Lakers to recover from.

"We felt we were in a good place (so) we took the second half as an opportunity to work on some things. Our kids asked if we could go back to what we did defensively in the first half and we said 'no'. We needed to use this as an opportunity to get better," added Clarke.

In her first game at home in the Rams uniform, Kellie Ring (Ottawa, Ont.) shot a perfect 7-for-7 from the field and netted 15 points and dished for six assists in just 16 minutes of play. Ryerson's leading scorer Sofia Paska (Etobicoke, Ont.) added a game-high 20 points on 9-of-13 shooting in 18 minutes.

"Kellie has great experience and great leadership. (She) and C'airah Gabriel-Robinson are real anchors for us defensively and offensively she pushed the tempo tonight. It was good for her to gain some confidence and put the ball in the basket."

Ryerson improves to 2-1 on the season while Nipissing slips to 0-3. The Rams are back in action on Saturday night when they host the Laurentian Voyageurs starting at 6:00 p.m.

Be sure to join us at the Mattamy Athletic Centre as we celebrate and honour the 2015-16 OUA Critelli Cup championship with a banner and ring presentation at the conclusion of the game.

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