TORONTO - The OUA game of the week lived up to the hype Friday night. It’s sometimes hard to fathom how a game made up of 40 minutes can hang in the balance of a dying make or break shot with three seconds on the clock.
But that’s exactly the situation the Ryerson Rams women’s basketball team found themselves in Friday night against the Queens Gaels. And long story short, it ended in heartbreak.
The Rams missed a floater at the basket in the dying seconds of the game as the Rams fell to the Gaels 60-59 Friday night.
“It wasn’t that shot that made us lose the game. There were so many things in the beginning that made us lose that game,” said Rams’ centre Sofia Paska.
After shooting just 25% from the floor after three quarters, and out rebounded by 13 rebounds, the Rams forced themselves into a hole down 15 points heading into the fourth. The Gaels had an astonishing 16 offensive rebounds through three quarters, which lead to a number of second chance points, a part of the game Rams head coach Carly Clarke admits to being the difference when it was all said and done.
“We can’t do a good job defending, and then give them 13 second chances in the first half and expect to win. We can’t win if we let them offensive rebound like they did,” said Clarke following the loss. “I thought we started to control the boards a little bit better in the second half and we had a couple chances to score late to win. If we could have rebounded defensively, we could have been in control, instead of down one or two late.”
Down by 15 heading into the fourth, C’iarah Gabriel-Robinson and Cara Tiemens sparked a 16-2 run and got the Rams to within a point at 49-48 with 5:10 left in the quarter.
Both teams traded shots down the final minutes with Tiemens coming up clutch yet again with a contested layup to even the game at 56-56 with 1:38 left.
Now with the score 60-58, Robinson found herself at the line for two shots and the game on the line. She went 1-2 on her free throws and got the Rams to within one at 60-59.
After the Gaels’ Bridget Mulholland missed two free throws in the final seconds, the Rams now had possession of the ball for the inbound with just three seconds on the clock.
It seemed almost too perfect for the Rams. A dramatic comeback late in the fourth quarter and two missed free throws from the Gaels in the dying seconds, created the perfect scenario in the particular situation the Rams found themselves in. Just three seconds on the clock and any shot from the floor would win it.
The Rams had the set play off the inbound and it worked to a tee. With the ball in play and the last seconds evaporating, the shot was heavy and hit the outside rim. The Rams dramatic comeback in the fourth went for naught as they fell 60-59 to the Gaels.
“That is just one play in a 200 play game,” said Clarke on the missed opportunity late. “But that’s the one people remember right now. We were surprised to how open we were to be honest. We had a plan B and then she was wide open. Sometimes you make the shot, sometimes you miss it.”
With the loss the Rams now fall to 12-4 on the season and sit second behind the Gaels in the OUA East. The Gaels on the other hand, walk away unscathed despite their late fourth quarter debacle, and remain a perfect 15-0 on the season.