Mar 14, 2015
Photo credit Mathieu Belanger
QUEBEC CITY (CIS) – In the last game on the program Saturday at PEPS Gym of Université Laval, the Alberta Pandas took measure of the Ryerson Rams, beating them 73-65 to finish fifth at the ArcelorMittal Dofasco CIS Women’s Basketball Championship.
A sequence of 19 straight points set the tone early on for the Pandas, who still had to withstand numerous efforts of a Rams comeback. Alberta, who had won a national title in 1999, had lost the consolation final in 2014.
Pandas head coach Scott Edwards was impressed with his team’s consolation victory. “We came out flying! We hit a lot of shots and Ryerson were cold early. I am not sure if we were playing great defensively or if they just missed their shots early but they battled and came back into the game. I knew it was going to be a tough one all the way.”
As for the Rams, they leave Quebec City with a sixth-place finish in their first appearance at the CIS Championship. Ryerson also managed to notch their first national championship victory in program history yesterday against Saint Mary’s.
“To play a third game in three days is tough. We came out slow and Alberta came out firing so we dug ourselves a hole. We had a great fight and made a game of it, but I think we just ran out of time or ran out of steam, one of the two,” said Rams head coach Carly Clarke. “I still think that it’s pretty special for our program to be amongst the top six teams in the country.”
The Pandas were definitely the most motivated team in the early going. After Ryerson opened the scoring with a free throw, Alberta scored 19 unanswered points to take a comfortable lead. Finally awakening, Ryerson began to find its rhythm. Rams leading scorer Keneca Pingue-Giles scored 8 straight points to cut the lead to 23-12 after the first quarter. During the second frame Ryerson continued to close the gap, but it was Alberta that would head into halftime with a 36-26 lead.
As the second half started, both teams were engaged in an early battle. Most notably Ryerson’s Mariah Nunes, who notched all 12 of her points in the second half. Despite the Rams continual comeback efforts, the Pandas refused to let their lead slip away. At one point in the fourth quarter Ryerson had managed to close the gap to four point with two minutes to play, only for Alberta’s game MVP, Tess Heinricks, to score two quick baskets and close the game out.
RYE 12-14-17-20: 65
Points: Saskia Van ginhoven (22), Tess Heinricks (19), Kendra Asleson (12)
Rebounds: Saskia Van ginhoven (8), Elle Hendershot (6), Kendra Asleson (6)
Assists: Jessilyn Fairbanks (10)
Player of the game: Tess Heinricks
Points: Keneca Pingue-Giles (23), Sofia Paska (12), Mariah Nunes (12)
Rebounds: Keneca Pingue-Giles (7), Annie Sokoloff (6), Sofia Paska (6)
Assists: Annie Sokoloff (4)
Player of the game: Keneca Pingue-Giles
CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE & RESULTS
Thursday, March 12
12:30 Quarter-final 1: No. 3 McGill 67, No. 6 Saint Mary’s 59
14:30 Quarter-final 2: No. 2 UBC 81, No. 7 Ryerson 59
18:00 Quarter-final 3: No. 1 Windsor 91, No. 8 Laval 57
20:00 Quarter-final 4: No. 4 Saskatchewan 70, No. 5 Alberta 63
Friday, March 13
18:00 Consolation 1: No. 7 Ryerson 76, No. 6 Saint Mary’s 60
20:00 Consolation 2: No. 5 Alberta 62, No. 8 Laval 50
Saturday, March 14
12:00 Semifinal 1: No. 3 McGill 59, No. 2 UBC 57 (OT)
14:30 Semifinal 2: No. 1 Windsor 75, No. 4 Saskatchewan 61
16:30 5th-place game: No. 5 Alberta 73, No. 7 Ryerson 65
* The ENGLISH webcast of the semifinals & final are on pay-per-view basis. The French webcast is free.