The uOttawa Gee-Gees women’s basketball team is looking to head to the playoffs on the right foot when they host the Laurentian Voyageurs on Friday and the Algoma Thunderbirds on Saturday in their final two regular season contests.
Facing the OUA East’s bottom two teams should provide an opportunity for the Gee-Gees to zero in on the aspects of their game they want to sharpen ahead of post-season play.
“We’ve lost a few close games and working on managing the game during the final minutes will help us this weekend,” says rookie Danielle Marion, who has stepped up to fill the injury gap. “Playing with a high level intensity on defence is also very important over the next few games.”
“We are all looking forward to getting back on track this weekend,” adds head coach Andy Sparks. “It looks like we will be hosting a playoff game next Wednesday. We should have Stephanie MacDonald and Francesca Bellehumeur-Moya back this weekend and can hopefully build some cohesion heading into Wednesday.”
There’s an outside chance the Gee-Gees could move up to the second spot in the conference. But a pair of wins would secure the number three spot and set up a quarterfinal date with either the Ryerson Rams or York Lions.
Laurentian enters Friday’s game on a five-game losing streak, which has taken them well out of playoff contention. Taking down the Gee-Gees would be a positive to take into the off-season. In their previous meeting on January 11, Laurentian stormed to the finish, outscoring the Gee-Gees 20-9 in the fourth quarter but came up short. Fourth-year forward Emma Decloe has been the hottest Voyageur of late, scoring 28 points in her last outing and averaging 18.5 points per game over their last four.
Algoma though is still waiting for its first win in OUA competition. A tough season for them, but the jump from college to CIS is a big one and is a process to build a program at this level. uOttawa came out with their best offensive performance in the teams’ last meeting; the garnet and grey scored 85 points and shot 44 per cent from the field. But that doesn’t mean any result in this sport is automatic.
“We have faced a lot of adversity this year and I think we need to use it to our advantage heading into playoffs,” says Marion. “It gives us the opportunity to learn and come out stronger.”
Both games tip at 6 p.m. in Montpetit Hall and can be seen live on SSN Canada.