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PREVIEW: West Division road trip

Thursday January 26, 2017
Joueuse de basketball dans les airs avec le ballon.
Greg Mason

Ottawa (9-3) at Western (5-7)
Friday, January 27
12 p.m.
Alumni Hall
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Ottawa (9-3) at Windsor (12-2)
Saturday, January 28
6 p.m.
St. Denis Centre
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After a five game stretch at home, the uOttawa women’s basketball team heads out on the road to play OUA West Division teams Western and No. 6 ranked Windsor. The Gee-Gees are looking to build on the momentum gained from last weekend’s back to back wins.  

The depth in uOttawa’s roster has been instrumental in its success this season, especially given injuries. Kellie Forand says about last weekend’s results, “it was a good test for this time of the year because it showed we're all ready to step up when it counts.” Brooklyn McAlear-Fanus, Ariane Lefebvre and Jen Crowe are good examples of players who have emerged to lead the team to a pair of recent victories and maintain a 9-3 record. 

uOttawa is looking to fine tune its team defence and execution in the final seconds of the shot clock. The Gee-Gees will adapt to a different game day schedule on Friday as they tip-off against the Western Mustangs at 12 p.m. Western’s game relies heavily on their starting five which can be expected to have great chemistry on the court. “They run very good offence, they are a very good executing team,” says Gee-Gees head coach Andy Sparks. 

Last season, the Mustangs upset the Gee-Gees 75-66 in conference play. Western is sitting in middle of the pack in the West Division in third place with 12 points. Most recently the Mustangs lost back to back games against Windsor.  However, Sparks notes that “they’ve been in a lot of tight games; they have had the tougher part of their schedule. We will have to play well to get a win.” 

The Gee-Gees then travel to just short of the border to take on No. 6 ranked Windsor on Saturday. Last season uOttawa won both games against the Lancers, once in a close 63-61 win in the Laval Holiday Tournament, followed by a 75-60 win in conference play. “They have excellent post play, which I think is key to their team, and two or three really good shooters on the perimeter,” explains Sparks. The players in question are fourth-year posts Cheyanne Roger and Emily Provost, and fifth and third-year guards Caitlyn Longmuir and Carly Steer.

The Gee-Gees and Windsor have had an excellent rivalry over the years which guarantees a great battle between the two teams.  Sparks explains, “we are hoping we can compete with them because when you are competing with them you are competing with the best teams in the country.”