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PREVIEW: Gee-Gees host Toronto and Ryerson to begin 2018

Wednesday January 3, 2018
Greg Mason

The Gee-Gees return to the court after a month-long hiatus to continue the OUA regular season against the Toronto Varsity Blues (4-6) and Ryerson Rams (8-2) at Montpetit Hall this weekend.

Having run through the OUA West portion of the regular season with a 5-5 record, Ottawa sits sandwiched between its two upcoming opponents in fourth place in the OUA East standings. If the Garnet and Grey are to make a move up the standings, this weekend’s set of games will be a key signpost along the way.

The Gee-Gees have leaned on defence and rebounding, ranking in the OUA’s top five in points allowed (57.4, 2nd), offensive rebounds per game (17.0, 3rd), total rebounds per game (42.6, 4th), steals per game (11.3, 5th) and rebounding margin (4.5, 5th).

First-year forward Brigitte Lefebvre-Okankwu has started her university career on solid footing and leads the Gee-Gees with 12 points and 6.9 rebounds per game, including two double-doubles in the regular season. Strong transition speed and finishing skills have contributed to her team-leading 46.7 per cent field goal percentage.

Ottawa holds a four-game winning streak over Toronto and has won eight of the last ten meetings between the squads. This year’s Toronto team has a one-point and a two-point loss on its record and also led Ryerson by seven heading into the fourth quarter of their first match-up of the season. The duo of Keyira Parkes and Rashida Atkinson power the Blues offensively, averaging 14.9 and 14.4 points per game, respectively. Parkes, a third-year having a break-out season, is lethal from long range with a fiery 51.1 per cent accuracy on her 47 attempts.

The Rams and Gee-Gees have played some classics in recent years, including two playoff games, an overtime thriller, and last year’s late-season upset by Ottawa. Clearly the teams are eager to weigh in for another bout as Ryerson tries to hang on to its no. 10 spot in the U SPORTS Top Ten and Ottawa looks to establish its place in the top end of the OUA standings.

Saturday’s game will feature a face-off between two of the OUA’s top performing rookies with Lefebvre-Okankwu and Ryerson’s guard Marin Scotten, who hails from Ottawa and attended Sir Wilfrid Laurier S.S. The first-year Ram is providing secondary scoring to the tune of 13.5 points per game in support of team leader and veteran forward, Sofia Paska. Paska’s 20.1 points per game is a career high pace while her 9.3 rebounds per game is first in the OUA East.

Tickets are on sale at and all OUA regular season and playoff games are webcast on