Photo by Alex D'Addese

Rams open 2017 with Lakehead, Guelph at home

By Andrea Elliott

TORONTO – The Ryerson Rams women’s basketball team returns to conference action this weekend when they host Central division opponents Lakehead and Guelph.

The Rams had a strong start to their season and enter the 2017 calendar year with a 6-1 record. Ryerson is in the midst of a six-game winning streak, capped off by their victory over previously undefeated Windsor in their final game before the exam break.

Ryerson’s two opponents this weekend have combined for just three wins between them and sit in the basement of the Central division. Lakehead enters 2017 with a 2-5 record while Guelph is just 1-5 to start the season.

Lakehead shares the basketball well, reflected by their first place assist numbers with 17.6 assists per game. Ryerson will look to contain guard Jerika Baldin as she controls the Thunderwolves offence and leads the OUA with 7.1 assists per game. First year guard Nikki Ylagan leads Lakehead with 11.9 points per game.

Where the Rams should dominate in this game is on the glass. Lakehead is outrebounded by 4.1 rebounds per game, on average, and rank 15th in total rebounds per game. Ryerson, meanwhile, leads the OUA in rebounding totals.

Following Friday’s tilt with Lakehead the Rams will welcome the Guelph Gryphons to town on Saturday evening. Coca-Cola Court should be rocking on Saturday as the Rams host OBA Night with club teams filling the stands.

The Gryphons have struggled to score the ball so far this season, averaging just 52.0 points per game to rank second last in the OUA. Guelph’s defence hasn’t been too impressive either, sitting third last with an average of 71.3 points against per game.

On this young, rebuilding Gryphons team, sophomore Sarah Holmes leads the team with 13.2 points per game and 8.0 rebounds and has been the lone bright spot for Guelph thus far. Look for Ryerson’s defensive specialist C’airah Gabriel-Robinson to draw the assignment of covering Holmes to limit the Gryphons’ best source of offence.

No. 6 ranked Ryerson is coming off an exam break that saw them play the No. 1 ranked team in Canada, the Laval Rouge et Or. The game wasn’t as close as the Rams had hoped, but they were without the services of Kellie Ring in that one.

Ring sits second on the Rams with 15.0 points and 7.3 rebounds per game, behind only Sofia Paska who averages a double-double with 16.3 points and 10.9 rebounds per game.

The first basketball action of 2017 tips off on Friday as the Rams host Lakehead at 6:00 p.m. before taking on the Guelph Gryphons on Saturday evening on OBA Night. Both games will be available on with Saturday's game also available live on Rogers TV Toronto.



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