Rams shut down OUA top scorer, win fifth straight
TORONTO – The Ryerson Rams women’s basketball team held Western’s Mackenzie Puklicz, the OUA’s leading scorer, to just eight points on Wednesday night and picked up their fifth straight victory, 72-51, at the Mattamy Athletic Centre.
Kellie Ring (Ottawa, Ont.) led the Rams with 20 points on 9-of-17 shooting while Cara Tiemens (Newmarket, Ont.) finished one point shy of her career-high with 18 points on 6-of-12 from the floor.
While the Rams offence scored more than their season average, it was the play at the defensive end that changed the outcome of this one. Western’s Puklicz averaged 23.2 points per game coming into Wednesday’s contest but was held to six points in the first half and could muster just two more points the rest of the game.
Ryerson’s C’airah Gabriel-Robinson (Mississauga, Ont.) had the main responsibility of containing Puklicz and her coach had high praise for her efforts after the game.
“C’airah has been outstanding defensively all year and continues to be. She just really challenged Puklicz to even get the ball. At one point Puklicz was bobbling (the ball) and tried to throw it off C and it went out of bounds off her and for me that was a defining moment. You could see she just didn’t want it, she wanted to get rid of it, she was uncomfortable. I think that disrupted her overall offensive rhythm today,” said head coach Carly Clarke.
The Rams defence as a unit forced 20 Western turnovers that led to 19 Ryerson points.
Ryerson wasn’t the only team containing their opponents’ top threat as Western was able to keep Sofia Paska (Etobicoke, Ont.) at bay for much of the evening. Paska finished with just eight points and five rebounds, but her presence was still very much felt.
“Western was keyed in on Paska; they were double teaming her. She had three assists today and lots of assists that don’t show up on the stats sheet because she’s drawing two defenders which gets other people looks. Despite not being as present on the stat sheet, Sof’s presence is still enormous and it was great to see some other people hit some shots,” added Clarke.
With the win the Rams improve to 5-1 on the season and extend their win streak to five straight games. The loss drops Western’s record to 5-2.
Ryerson will play their final game of the 2016 calendar this Saturday when they host the No. 5 nationally ranked and 7-0 Windsor Lancers at 4:00 p.m.