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HOME PREVIEW: Gritty Gee-Gees need bounce back weekend

Friday January 20, 2017
Joueuse de basketball protégeant le ballon, bien surveillée par une joueuse adverse.
Greg Mason

Lakehead (4-7) at Ottawa (7-3)
Friday, January 20
6 p.m.
Montpetit Hall
Tickets on sale online
Webcast on

Guelph (1-9) at Ottawa (7-3)
Saturday, January 21
6 p.m.
Montpetit Hall
Tickets on sale online
Webcast on

Tuesday night’s near upset to Carleton showed uOttawa can compete with top ranked teams. The Gee-Gees, who lost 57-50, were able to compete in part because of Katherine Lemoine’s performance in her matchup against Carleton forward, Heather Lindsay. “That gave us a lot more ability to step out and defend a little bit different on the perimeter,” explains head coach Andy Sparks. A lesson that can be taken away from that match is that it is anyone’s game if you show up focused and hungry on game day. Gee-Gees guard Kellie Forand adds, “Our overall team defence also got better, which is something we want to keep as an asset. Our level of competition was great, we showed toughness in that game and that is something we need to keep moving forward.”

The challenge for the Gee-Gees in Friday’s game will be to adjust to Lakehead’s propensity to use zone-matchups compared to man-to-man defence. Defensively, the garnet and grey will need to minimize the impact of high scoring Lakehead starters.  Lakehead averages 67.5 points per game compared to uOttawa’s 62.5 points. Lakehead went 1-1 in last weekend’s double-header against Brock. The Thunderwolves fell in the first game 92-84 only to come back for a huge thirty-point win in the second. “Anybody can beat anybody,” explains Sparks. In their meeting last season Ottawa defeated Lakehead 65-50 in conference play. “We're going to have to play solid basketball in order to come out with a win.  With our personal record being 7-3, we can't afford to lose anymore,” said Forand

 Next up, the Gee-Gees take on Guelph whom they defeated 75-36 in a pre-season exhibition game. Last season uOttawa came out on top in both meetings against the Gryphons, winning 72-69 in their OUA quarterfinal match and 55-43 in conference play. Guelph recently put up a good fight against Laurier losing by seven-points, compared to uOttawa’s seven-point win earlier this season. The physical nature of this week’s matches is explained by head coach Sparks, “You really have to rely on your fundamentals and your experience in a lot of cases to handle this five game series.”