Mixed success for Lions basketball


Emily Goodwin | Editor-in-Chief

Featured Image: Alysha Pinck takes a shot for the Lions during Saturday’s game against Ryerson. | Courtesy of Jeremy Zheng/York Lions

The Lions basketball program experienced a mixed bag of successes and shortcomings this past weekend. Both teams took on the Varsity Blues and the Ryerson Rams. The women’s team won both games, but the men’s team suffered two losses, with the one to the Rams being by 28 points.

Friday afternoon both teams travelled to the Goldring Centre at the University of Toronto. The women’s team kicked off the action where they faced a tough first quarter, only scoring 10 points to the Blues’ 13. The Varsity Blues widened their early lead into the second quarter, and it took some time for the Lions to begin to catch up.

Taylor McAlpine’s shot brought the Lions within two points of their opponent, and Lauren Golding’s following layup brought the score to 20-20. The Varsity Blues took the lead again, though. By halftime, the Lions finished six points behind the Blues at 29-23.

The Lions stepped up their defensive game after the half, only allowing the Varsity Blues to add 12 points in the third quarter and six in the fourth. In the meantime, the Lions continued to earn around the same number of points per quarter, which allowed them to take the lead. The game ended 52-47 in favour of the Lions.

When the men’s teams took to the court, both sides enjoyed weak defences in the first half, with the Varsity Blues leading 55-48 over the Lions at halftime. The Varsity Blues continued to extend their lead, with the third period ending 76-64 and the game ending 95-81.

Four players from the Lions contributed double-digit points: Liam Rietschin (10), Nick Russell (11), DeAndre Pierre (17), and Prince Kamunga (22).

The Lions returned to the Tait McKenzie Centre the following day to host the Rams. In the women’s game, the Lions took an early lead that they maintained throughout the quarter. The Rams were right on their heels though, at 12-10 heading into the second quarter.

The Rams briefly took the lead at the start of the second quarter, but this was short-lived. The Lions caught up and tied the score 26-all at halftime. With renewed energy, the Lions regained possession and made four baskets before the Rams could add any more to their side. By the end of the third quarter, the Lions had added 20 points while the Rams could only add nine.

Try as they might, the Rams could not close the widening gap made by the Lions, and the Lions once again came out the winner with a final score of 67-52.   

Third-year forward Lauren Golding was named York’s Female Athlete of the Week for her 33 point weekend. She also racked up 22 rebounds, and is now ranked second in rebounds in the OUA.

In the men’s game, the Lions got off to a promising lead. They finished the first quarter ahead by one at 17-16. They widened this lead to 37-33 at halftime.

After the half though, the game started to go downhill for the Lions. The Rams picked up the pace and the Lions could not keep up. The Rams only allowed the Lions to add another 14 points, while they doubled that at 28. The Lions were down by 10 heading into the final quarter.

The Rams did not lose this momentum. They added a whopping 32 points in the final 10 minutes while keeping the Lions confined to 14 once again.

What started off as a promising upset ended 93-65 in favour of the Rams, and handed the Lions their fifth loss in a row.

Following these results, the women’s team sits in second place in the OUA Central region with 10 points and 5-3 for the season. The men’s team remains last in the same region, with just two points and a 1-7 record.

The Lions will spend the rest of the 2019 season on the road travelling to Ottawa next weekend to take on the Carleton Ravens and the Ottawa Gee-Gees, and then to Thunder Bay the following weekend for a double-header against the Lakehead Thunderwolves.

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