The Gee-Gees women’s basketball team is undefeated to start the regular season and has just one opponent to focus on this weekend as the Algoma Thunderbirds (0-4) land at Montpetit Hall on Saturday night. Ottawa comes into the contest with high confidence and the team which is showing it can play together at both ends of the floor.
“Offence is a big part but the effort we put in on defence really helped us [last weekend],” explains third-year wing Catherine Traer who leads the Gee-Gees and the OUA with 19.3 points per game. "Our pressure and our effort in general led to easy scores, and we have a defensive mindset. It’s always our objective to keep teams around 50 points and we want to be there every time, right up in their shorts,” she says with a laugh.
Crucially, Ottawa is playing as a unit. While Traer has stood out in the scoring department, she notes that the team’s chemistry has allowed for the four-game winning streak. “It’s a group that has been together for three or four years now, and we have very good communication on the court. Guelph was a great team win. We know where people want the ball and can put them in a good position.”
Head coach Andy Sparks echoes that sentiment, and has his eye on managing the team’s depth while players continued to return from the injury reserve list. "We are getting our pieces back together and our first five is developing its chemistry right now. If we maintain our positive attitude and keep working hard we’ll keep moving up.”
The Thunderbirds went 1-19 last season and Ottawa handed the team a 77-36 loss in Sault Ste. Marie. Through four games this season, the T-Birds are still struggling to score. The scheduling powers that be were not kind to Algoma, starting the season off with then no. 1 ranked McMaster and no. 6 ranked Brock. Still, Algoma led Laurier 28-27 at halftime in its most recent contest last Sunday and does have size with a pair of 6-foot 2 centres in third and fourth-years.
“We want to make sure that we play well early, but we also want to focus on being consistent and close things out. Some of our depth needs to get a little more court time,” notes Sparks.
Saturday’s game will tip off at 6 p.m. All OUA regular season games are webcast live on OUA.tv.
Tickets are available online and are $2 cheaper per ticket when purchased at least 2 hours before the game. Visit http://tickets.geegees.ca for full ticket information.