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Uottawa

PLAYOFF PREVIEW: Home court in round one

Tuesday February 21, 2017
Wide view of a basketball player trying to make a basket.
Photo: 
Greg Mason

GAME INFO:

Western (8-12) at Ottawa (13-6)
Wednesday, February 22
7 p.m.
Montpetit Hall
Tickets available online
Webcast on OUA.tv

The Gee-Gees women’s basketball team earned its biggest win of the regular season on the final night and hopes to ride that positive energy into the first round of the OUA Critelli Cup playoffs. Ottawa upset the no. 8 ranked Ryerson Rams on Saturday night to finish the regular season in sixth position in the OUA RPI rankings, and host the 11 seed Western Mustangs on Wednesday night.

One of the best defensive teams in OUA, the stingy Gee-Gees allowed just 54.2 points per game this season and held the Rams to 56 en route to the big victory. Notably, Ottawa was effective at shutting down Ryerson’s post play. 

This success will be required again against the Mustangs. Second-year forward Julia Curran and fourth-year forward Victoria Heine each stand 6-foot-1 and have averaged 14.2 and 10.1 points per game, respectively. Curran dropped 23 points on the Gee-Gees in the regular season matchup.

"We really struggled with their posts the last time we played them,” notes Ottawa head coach Andy Sparks, whose team held on for a 53-50 win in London on January 27. 

"I fully expect its going to be a good test. Pretty much everyone has been a good test with us this year so we are going to have to come and give it our best shot,” continued Sparks, who led the Garnet and Grey to an OUA silver medal in 2016.

The Gee-Gees are coming up against a disciplined Mustangs squad that committed the fewest personal fouls per game (13.3) this season.   

Western likely needs to be more aggressive and shoot the ball if they hope to keep pace with uOttawa on Wednesday.  While they ranked fourth in field goal percentage, trailing only three of the top four Critelli Cup seeds, the Mustangs finished last amongst playoff bound teams with just 56.7 attempts per game.

With a win Wednesday, either the Gee-Gees or Mustangs will make the trip to the "Steel City" Saturday for a showdown with the No. 3 seed McMaster Marauders.