The no. 8 uOttawa Gee-Gees enter the Ravens’ Nest on Friday night to take on the 5-3 Carleton Ravens in the both teams’ final game before the winter break.
There are basically two outcomes at play in this one: the Ravens win, pulling into a tie with the Gee-Gees in the OUA East standings and giving Ottawa plenty to think about over the break. Or, uOttawa takes it and retains sole possession of top spot heading into 2014.
Head coach Andy Sparks has seen his share of Ravens-Gee-Gees battles and knows both teams won’t be willing to give an inch.
“It’s always close games and I would expect the same this Friday,” says Sparks. “We will need to create a high tempo and do a better job with our defensive transition. Carleton is always a great rebounding team and we will need to do a better job in that area.”
“I think everyone can expect a hard fought game,” says 6-1 forward Maddie Stephen, who had a solid game Saturday night with 16 points and 11 rebounds. “Although every game is extremely important and it is business as usual there is obviously quite a rivalry with Carlton. I know both teams are going to fight hard so it should be fun.”
Carleton is coming off the same split weekend as the Gee-Gees, posting the same win over Waterloo and loss to Wilfrid Laurier. The Ravens went 3-for-23 from beyond the arc last weekend while the Gee-Gees struggled to finish under the basket.
Defensively, the Gee-Gees have allowed the sixth most total points this season while the Ravens have held their last six opponents under 60 points. Continuing that trend may be difficult against a team that averages 67.6 points each game, good enough for third best in the OUA.
“A major key for us this weekend will be defence,” adds Stephen. “That is really what cost us the game against Laurier, so we have been working really hard on it this week.”
The game tips off at 6 p.m. at Carleton and will be webcast on SSN Canada.