Women’s basketball (13-4 OUA, no. 10 CIS)
Host Toronto (9-7 OUA) on Friday, February 8th 2013 at 6:00 p.m. (SSN Canada)
Host Ryerson (6-10 OUA) on Saturday, February 9th 2013 at 6:00 p.m. (SSN Canada)
The University of Ottawa Gee-Gees will go toe-to-toe with the Toronto Varsity Blues at Montpetit Hall on Friday night, followed by a game versus the Ryerson Rams on Saturday. uOttawa entered the CIS Top Ten rankings this week in the number ten spot, and could clinch second place in the OUA East with a victory this weekend.
“These final three games will be extremely significant for us as we head into the play-offs. I think that in a way, we are still trying to figure out who we are and what our identity is. We need to find try to find some consistency in our game and play hard through 40 minutes. However, if you ask any coach they will tell you that young teams are inconsistent. The best way to battle through that, is just to work hard and avoid let ups,” said head coach Andy Sparks.
Part of that identity has been the play of Maddie Stephen, who continues to rank second in the CIS with 11.4 rebounds per contest. However, Stephen will be a game time decision for the Gee-Gees this weekend as she is recovering from minor injuries. The Gee-Gees will need a strong performance on the glass, as the Varsity Blues are ranked first in the country in offensive rebounding and fourth in overall rebounding.
In their first meeting this season, Ottawa was able to out-rebound the Blues by a 49-38 margin on the way to a 65-57 win. The Varsity Blues trail the Gee-Gees in the OUA standings as they are currently in third place. Toronto is currently riding a four-game win streak, including a one point victory over the York Lions last weekend.
On Saturday night the Gee-Gees will face the fourth place Ryerson Rams who are coming off a big 64-47 victory over the Laurentian Voyagers. The Rams have played their best basketball on the road this season as four of their six wins have come away from home. The Rams are led by rookie guard Cassandra Nofuente, whose 13.6 points per game ranks twelfth in the OUA. Nofuente will be a defensive thorn as well – she ranks third in the CIS in steals per game.
The Gee-Gees’ leading scorer, Jenna Gilbert, could make her return this weekend as she has resumed practice.
“We have been practising extremely well lately, now we just have to carry that over into games and we will be a very dangerous team heading down the stretch. The time to do that is now,” Sparks said.