Sitting atop the OUA East after spoiling the undefeated records of McMaster and Brock last weekend, the no. 7 ranked Gee-Gees return home to face Waterloo on Friday and Laurier on Saturday in Montpetit Hall.
Laurier is one of four teams crowding the top of the OUA West at 5-1. Their only loss came against Ryerson in a one-point decision on November 9. The Golden Hawks present a unique challenge for the Gee-Gees to defend as their attack is much more balanced than that of most teams. Seven players average between six and nine points a game and are kept fresh. No one on the roster is averaging more than 26 minutes of court time this season, so Laurier likes to cycle through the bench.
“We’re working on our transition defence, trying to and eliminate their (Laurier’s) fast breaks,” says Angela Tilk. “Also, we’re going to look to use our mismatches better on offence and push the ball hard. We have a full bench so we are going to run them.”
The Golden Hawks are playing solid team defence themselves, giving up just 52.7 points a game, so scoring will prove to be yet another tough test.
Waterloo is a different story, as the Warriors are struggling to find their form and stand at 2-3 thus far. Although, Gee-Gees head coach Andy Sparks believes they’re improving. The Gee-Gees will likely look to take advantage of the Warriors’ tendency to turnover the ball, something they’ve done more than every OUA team except for Ryerson.
“We have to work on our offensive precision and maintaining our defence through each possession and finishing with a box out,” says Sparks. “We have looked good when we run, however, the consistency is still not there.”
Sparks will continue to work hard on getting the defensive game where he wants it. That work is already translating into some improvements. uOttawa has allowed 162 combined points in the last three contests (under 60 in each) compared to 215 in the first three games.
Marti Killeen, Mackenzie Lougheed, and Kristen Osborne, Waterloo’s offensive core, will likely set the tone for the Warriors in this match up. Each put up 10 points per game and shoot the ball well.
The Gee-Gees, who moved up from 9th to 7th in the CIS’s weekly national top ten, have three games to go before the winter break that won’t see them back in regular season action until January 10. The break will afford them some time to get healthier and refreshed in preparation for the long stretch run.
“Injuries have played a factor in our depth and we are looking forward to getting Danielle Marion back for a few minutes this weekend. Kellie Ring is still recovering from a lower body injury,” adds Sparks.
Both games tip off at 6 p.m. and will be broadcast on SSN Canada.