The Gee-Gees hit the road again this weekend to face a pair of 4-0 teams. Friday they visit the McMaster Marauders and Saturday they take on the Brock Badgers.
Sporting a record of 3-1 themselves, the Gee-Gees are coming off two solid road victories last weekend against Guelph and Lakehead. They’re beginning to establish themselves as one of the OUA’s best rebounding teams, averaging 43.5 per game and limiting their opponents to 33.8 per game.
“Rebounding is such an important part of the game,” says Maddie Stephen, who is second in the OUA with 46 rebounds for an average of 11.5 through four games this season. “Being able to limit the other team’s second chance points is crucial and can really make a difference in the game. We are definitely improving in rebounding, but it is something we have to keep working on every day,” she emphasizes. “Being a good rebounding team makes everything else a lot easier.”
After moving up to no. 9 in the CIS national rankings, the buy-in to team concepts continues to develop among the players. Ottawa has shown excellent depth and balanced scoring with five Gee-Gees averaging double-digit points per game.
“We have made offensive and defensive transition a priority this week and continue to work on cleaning up our team concepts,” says coach Andy Sparks. “Our rebounding is also a work in progress and we must improve our defensive rebounding. We seem to get after the offensive boards more aggressively.”
McMaster and Brock enter the weekend with a share of the lead in the OUA West after wins over Toronto, Ryerson, Laurentian, and Algoma. The Marauders did it by a combined margin of 117 points and the Badgers by 135 points. The combined record of their opponents may be 3-12 but the Gee-Gees won’t approach any game on their schedule lightly.
“Both teams this weekend are very talented and fairly deep, so we will have to be at our best to have a successful weekend,” cautions Sparks. “They did start with four weaker teams, however, they also had strong preseason against the best teams in the country.”
“Brock and Mac are both transition first teams who play through excellent post players when they get in to the half-court game. They have excellent point guard play as well so we are expecting a challenge in all positions. It should be an interesting weekend.”