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Preview: Can Soriano boost Gee-Gees on the road?

Thursday February 9, 2017
Soriano with the ball.
Ellen Bond

Ottawa (10-5) at York (5-11)
Friday, February 10
6 p.m.
Webcast Live on

Ottawa (10-5) at Queen’s (16-0)
Saturday, February 11
6 p.m.
Webcast Live on

The uOttawa Gee-Gees women’s basketball team heads out on the final road trip of the regular season, stopping at York on Friday and the league-leading Queen’s Gaels on Saturday. The Gee-Gees have just four conference games left until playoffs begin and are look to finish off the season on a high note.

After four long weeks uOttawa veteran point guard Julia Soriano looks to be returning to play this weekend. Head coach Andy Sparks explains, “she has been the best that I have ever had as far as worth ethic and what she has brought to our program, we are all ecstatic that she is going to be finishing her career playing not sitting.” The Gee-Gees also expect to dress Tessa Boyd, the UK native who scored a buzzer-beater first basket with the team earlier this season.

Hopes are that Soriano’s return will contribute to an offensive improvement: uOttawa has been held under 55 points its last three games after averaging 64 points per game to start the season.

The Lions are currently on the bubble regarding post-season play, projected to finish in the twelfth spot thanks to wins over Western, Laurentian, and Brock in January. As Sparks says, “York is fighting for their playoff lives so we are going to have to come to play in that one.” uOttawa will look to shut out York’s key offensive players fifth-year guard Ishanaa Seupersadsingh, fifth-year post Shauney Fishcher and point guard Katrina Collins-Samuels.

Saturday Ottawa comes up against an experienced Queen’s squad which is ranked No. 3 in the country and has not lost a game this season. The Gaels top the charts in points per game (70.6), field-goal percentage (40.8), free-throws made per game (14.6), offensive rebounds (18.9), steals (11.9), and opponents' three-point percentage (22.3).

uOttawa’s defence will be challenged against Queen’s as they have a deep bench with scoring coming from eight different players.  Queen’s has several strong offensive players like fifth-year post Robyn Pearson, who is third overall in rebounds and second-year guard Veronika Lavergne who is first in field goal percentage, making for an effective inside-out game. Ottawa won a thrilling 46-44 clash with the Gaels last season.