The No. 1 Laval Rouge et Or dominated their way to a 73-51 victory over the Ryerson Rams in the third U SPORTS quarterfinal on Thursday evening at Ryerson’s Mattamy Athletic Centre.
Leading the charge for Laval was U SPORTS Player of the Year Sarah-Jane Marois (Quebec City, Que.) who scored a game-high 17 points in the victory, while Ryerson’s Hayley Robertson (Toronto, Ont.) led the Rams with 15 points in 25 minutes.
The Rams kicked off the game with a brief four-point run. Ryerson’s Jama Bin-Edward (Waterloo, Ont.) scored each of her team’s opening six points, but the Rouge et Or would soon catch up and gained a 7-6 lead midway through the quarter.
Laval would continue battling and eventually took a 20-11 lead at the end of the first.
Ryerson’s scoring struggles were extremely prevalent in the second. Laval would hold the Rams to just eight points in the quarter, heading into halftime with a 32-19 lead.
The Rams came out to play in the third, cutting Laval’s lead down to nine in the opening minutes of the frame. But Laval continued to defend well and maintained pressure through the remainder of the third.
A buzzer-beating jumper from Marois would give Laval a 17-point advantage after 30 minutes.
The Rams struggled to keep up with the dominance of the Rouge et Or through much of the fourth. Laval would score 21 points in the final 10 minutes of the game to seal the 73-51 win over the Rams, advancing to the U SPORTS semifinals on Saturday.
“We tried to win the rebound battle tonight,” said Laval head coach Guillaume Giroux. “(The Rams) are tall and physical, but we had a really strong first half and I was happy with that.”
Laval’s Claudia Émond (Saguenay, Que.) scored 17 points and added two steals, while Khaléann Caron-Goudreau (Gatineau, Que.) had 12 rebounds in 24 minutes. Ryerson’s Bronwyn Williams (Toronto, Ont.) added 10 points and nine rebounds for the Rams in the loss.
Robertson says the Rams will do their best to maintain a positive attitude moving forward.
“As a team, we’ve always talked about sticking together through the ups and downs,” said Robertson. “We have to keep our head up and finish every game strong. We have amazing fans and amazing teammates to play for.”
The Rams will play in the consolation semifinal on Friday evening at 8:00 p.m. ET / 5:00 p.m. PT
Players of the Game
- Laval: Sarah-Jane Marois
- Ryerson: Hayley Robertson