Written by: Ryan Bacic; Photos by: Alex D'Addese, Hung Le, Christian Bender

It was standing room only at the Mattamy Athletic Centre on Wednesday evening, as a plethora of Ryerson fans flooded their home court to watch their beloved women’s basketball team defeat the Brock Badgers. The sheer magnitude of the fans present was felt throughout the contest, escalating to a point which bordered on consistent deafening roar.

“Everyone cheering, creating such a positive atmosphere, helps in boosting everyone’s confidence,” remarked forward Bronwyn Williams on how the crowd affected her game play.

Through this positive atmosphere, Williams would go on to be a dominating force under the basket all night, acquiring five total rebounds, three blocks and a steal to cap off her evening.

The first quarter of play was heavily contested between the two teams, with both consistently dominating the baseline on the offensive end, but for diametrically opposed reasons. For the Rams, it was evident from the initial tip off that their backcourt, and perimeter defensive pressure had markedly improved since the weekend road trip. Several potential Brock offensive efforts were, in essence, halted at the half-court line. However, the Rams seemed to consistently lack defense upon the baseline, allowing several easily acquired buckets from the Badgers from their larger forwards.

Offensively however, the Rams seemed to be overzealous in their attempts, overshooting several passing efforts and failing to connect on several field goal attempts. However, these shortcomings were more than made up for by the Rams utilization of their forwards, with Sofia Paska (Etobicoke, Ont.) and Williams dominating the paint offensively, and Rams guards taking advantage of clear drives into the lane.

However, it was in the second quarter that the Rams would fully come alive. Throughout the second quarter, the Rams would consistently dominate in virtually all aspects of play, outscoring the Badgers 16-8 throughout the quarter, and increasing the intensity with which they approached the acquisition of defensive and offensive rebounds. This in combination with the fact that the Rams made good use of full-court defensive pressure, forcing the Badgers to utilize elaborate ball movement plays to simply progress offensively. While the problems of the first quarter persisted, namely a lack of defensive baseline presence and overzealous passing efforts, the Rams were able to find ways around these shortcomings making their playing style difficult to combat for the visiting Badgers.

The remainder of the game would take on a very similar tone. Throughout the third quarter, the Rams possessed a better conversion rate on both field goal and three-point attempts compared to the Badgers, and their full-court defensive pressure seemed to wear at the visiting team as turnovers increased exponentially over time. Heading into the fourth, the Badgers did all they could to maintain themselves in the game, but it was far too little, far too late and the Rams were able to run away with an easier win at home.

“We came out with some great energy, really played connected…definitely some highs and lows, with some defensive lulls especially in the final quarter, but overall a pretty good effort,” remarked head coach Carly Clarke on the team’s overall performance during the game.

Next up, the Rams will be facing the McMaster Marauders, a fairly middle of the road team that shares a similar record to the Rams currently.

“We should stick with the same sort of mindset that we had tonight, clearly something worked,” remarked Williams on what should be the strategy heading into the game against the Marauders.

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