U Sports Basketball (W): Critelli Cup preview, Ryerson Rams edition

This is the first of two articles previewing the OUA Critelli Cup final between the Ryerson rams and Brock Badgers. The Brock preview will be released on Friday the 28th, prior to the game on the 29th.

Toronto, ON- For the first time in four years, the Ryerson Rams women’s basketball team has qualified for the national tournament, whilst also earning their spot in the Critelli Cup final. The final eight this year takes place in Ottawa and is the first time that the women’s tournament is being held concurrently to the men. However, before that, the Critelli Cup is up for grabs. Standing in the way of the cup for Ryerson, are the brock badgers, who they will host in the final game of the OUA women’s basketball post-season.

The number 2 ranked Ryerson side have enjoyed a measure of success over the last few seasons, yet with there alignment of the divisions in 2019-20, they were able to navigate themselves to the final. The final, which is set for Saturday night on Ryerson’s home court is against the Brock Badgers, who the Rams beat twice this season.

How did they get here?

The Ryerson Rams got to this point following an eight-point victory over the Ottawa gee-gees. The game. One of the strengths that Ryerson showed in the game was their three-point shooting, which they were very strong at the beginning, where they shot 77% in the opening quarter. While the stat dropped, it continued to be an important factor throughout the game. Once again, they were led by Hayley Robertson and Marin Scotten, two players who were named to the OUA All-Star team earlier in the week. However, seven completed free throws from Rachel Farwell helped her lead the Rams scoring with 21 points, one more than the aforementioned Robertson.

With all of their individual accolades, they came together to defeat their former teammate Katherine Follis and the whole Ottawa Gee-Gees team 84-76, punching their ticket to the final and more importantly, the U Sports Final 8 in Ottawa.

Video of the Ryerson locker room emerged on social media after the game, and it’s fair to say that the team was a bit excited. Even coach Carly Clarke, who recently helped coach Team Canada to Olympic qualification, was ecstatic and jumping in celebration with her players. There is certainly a level of camaraderie within the team, something which is invaluable to building a winning group.

Ryerson Players to watch

Hayley Robertson:

Ryerson Rams Hayley Roberston (Christian Bender/ Ryerson Athletics)

She has been a key player for Ryerson for a long time and in her senior season, it has been no different. Robertson was named to the OUA third all-star team but could have been named to a higher lineup without many questions. She has been a very durable player for the Rams this season and played all forty minutes in their close call semi-final win over the Ottawa Gee-Gees.

Robertson did not dominate the Badgers this season, yet that’s, not her role, as a guard, she needs to keep the ball out of her team’s net. With her 107 defensive rebounds this season, she’s very solid at doing exactly that. She may still be an important offensive player, but the Rams do have other players who can worry about that. In the last game against Brock, she scored 11 points, which was one of the higher totals of the season.

Marin Scotten:

Ryerson Rams Marin Scotten (Christian Bender/Ryerson Athletics)

As much as Robertson is a key player on the team and holds a veteran presence, another crucial member of the Ryerson squad is Marin Scotten. While she still has years remaining of eligibility and has never been to a national tournament before, her level of play this season is something that has led the Rams to this point.

Scotten, who was named to the OUA second All-Star team has averaged 17.5 points per game this season, while also boosting that by two points throughout the playoffs so far. She only trails her teammate Robertson, who is the leading active player with 21.5 points. In the semi-final, she posted 17 points, something that no team can turn their head away from. She has been the best player on Ryerson this season and will be a very important piece if they are to go on to hoist the Critelli Cup.

This was the preview for the Ryerson Rams! Look back tomorrow for a piece on their opponent, the Brock Badgers.

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