Written by: Ryan Bacic; Photos by: Hung Le

TORONTO – The Rams were able to extend their winning streak to seven games to cap off 2017 on Saturday evening, with an 81-62 win over the visiting Lakehead Thunderwolves at the Mattamy Athletic Centre.

On paper, Saturday night’s game appeared to be a rather even contest between the two teams. In spite of their recent loss to the University of Toronto Varsity Blues, the Thunderwolves remained in second place in the OUA’s Western Conference, assisted by the thus far stellar performance of forward Leashja Grant (Nassau, BS) who presently tops the league in both points and rebounds. Instead, the Rams would dominate throughout the game, maintaining the lead across all four quarters, and holding Grant to only eleven points on the night, her lowest total thus far this season.

In opposition to a typical Grant-centered performance this evening, it would be forward Bridget O’Reilly (Seaforth, Ont.) leading the way for Lakehead with 21 points on the night. An incredibly aggressive Lakehead defense, while not proving extensively troublesome, was proven to be effective against the Rams, as intense player-to-player coverage contributed to 18 Ryerson turnovers on the evening.

In spite of these strengths, it would be all Rams, all game, as the home team took control offensively right from the get go. Topping the Rams score sheet this evening was all-star forward Sofia Paska (Etobicoke, Ont.) who, with 21 points and 10 rebounds, recorded a double-double on the evening and proved to be too much for Lakehead’s Grant, who is not used to guarding forwards of Paska’s caliber.

Of note this evening, however, was the performance of freshman guard Jama Bin-Edward (Waterloo, Ont.). Bin-Edward recorded 21 points on the evening, a career-high for her, to go along with five rebounds and four steals in the victory.

With this win, the Rams improve to 8-2 on the season and maintain themselves firmly in third-place within the OUA’s Eastern Conference. While the team was able to close out 2017 on a strong-note, 2018 will start off with a road-trip that will prove to be a true test of the Rams ability.

On Friday, January 5, and Saturday, January 6 the Rams will head up to Ottawa for their first road-trip of 2018 to take on Carleton, and Ottawa respectively. Presently, the Carleton Ravens are 10-0 on the season, firmly establishing themselves as the dominating force in the league. While their cross-town rivals, Ottawa, have been struggling by comparison, possessing a 5-5 record thus far, they still maintain a playing style that can take the Rams by surprise if they are not attentive.

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