U SPORTS Women’s Basketball world be taking over Victoria

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For the first time since 1993, the U SPORTS Women’s Basketball world be taking over Victoria as the Vikes host nationals. The Carleton Ravens enter the tournament as the favorite being the number one seed after they won their first ever OUA championship on Saturday. The defending champions, Saskatchewan Huskies hope to win their second straight Bronze Baby, the feat was last done by the Windsor Lancers who won five in row from 2010-2015. The other teams who punched their plane tickets to Victoria were RSEQ champions, McGill Martlets, AUS champions, Cape Breton Capers, OUA silver medalists, Queen’s Gaels, Canada-West silver medalists, Regina Cougars and wildcard team, Laval Rouge et Or.

Final 8 preview-

#1 Carleton Ravens vs. #8 host team, Victoria Vikes-

The Ravens become the #1 seed after they beat Queen’s Gaels, 49-41 in the Critelli Cup finals to win the program’s first OUA championship. The Vikes lost to Winnipeg Wesmen in CW quarterfinals in three games. The Ravens during the regular season had a record of 18-1 in the OUA and the Vikes post a record of 12-8 in Canada-West.

The Ravens averaged 68.2 points a game and scored 1,296 points in 19 games this season.  The Ravens shot 39.2 % in FG Pct. They average 13.9 offense rebounds per a game (8th in U SPORTS). Lastly, they had 3PT Pct. of 29.0 %. The team on offence is led by second- team All-Canadian forward, Heather Lindsay. Lindsay averaged 14.1 points a game and scored 239 points in 17 games this season in the OUA. She also had 64 offensive rebounds. Lastly, she led U SPORTS in FG Pct. – 55.8 %. Lindsay averaged 15.3 points a game and scored 46 points all together during the OUA playoffs.   Ravens forward, Catherine Traer is another player to keep eye on. She averaged 14.6 points a game and scored 249 points during the regular season.

The Ravens defense was one of the best in U SPORTS, were first for least amount of points per a game allowed with 51.1 and were second in opponents FG Pct. – 31.2 %.  They also were first in blocks per a game with 5.2.  The Ravens averaged 14.7 turnovers per a game.  They also averaged 27.7 defensive rebounds per a game. Lastly, they averaged 8.1 steals per a game.  Traer led the team in steals with 34. Lindsay was first on the team in defensive rebounds with 119 and had 33 blocks. She averaged 10.8 rebounds per a game which was first in U SPORTS.

The Vikes averaged 69.8 points per a game and scored 1,396 points (9th in U SPORTS). The Vikes shot 40.4 % in FG Pct. which was sixth best in the nation. The team was one of the best when it came to three-point shooting as they shot 31.5% which was tenth in U SPORTS. A majority of their scoring came from forward, Jenna Bugiardini. The Canada- West All-Star, Bugiardini led the team in scoring as she averaged 16.1 points per a game and scored 322 points.  Her 120 field goals were 8th in the nation. She also had 61 offensive rebounds (9th in U SPORTS). Bugiardini’s teammate and guard, Amira Giannattasio could player to watch at nationals.  She averaged 14.0 points a game and scored 280 points in 20 appearances during the regular season. She was seventh in U SPORTS in threes made with 49 and third in 3PT Pct. with 42.6 %.

The Vikes on defense allow its opponents to score 67.2 points per a game and their opponents had FG Pct. – 38.9 % against them. The team averaged 16.0 turnovers per a game (9th in U SPORTS), 7.6 steals per a game, 2.4 blocks per a game and lastly 25.6 defensive rebounds per a game. Bugiardini was first on team in defensive rebounds with 138 (4th in U SPORTS).  Vikes’ guard, Nicole Karstein led the team in blocks with 22. Lastly guard, Jenna Krug led the team in steals with 30.

Tip-off:  8:00 p.m.

#2 Saskatchewan Huskies vs. #7 Laval Rouge et Or

The Huskies for the second straight season won the Canada- West championship by beating Regina Cougars, 64-53 last Saturday night.  The Huskies had a record of 15-5 in the Canada-West this season. The Rouge et Or were one of the best teams in the nation during the regular season and at one point, #1 team in U SPORTS for five straight weeks. The Rouge et Or were stunned by Concordia Stingers in RSEQ semi-finals losing 69-65 last Thursday night. The Rouge et Or had record of 14-2 during the regular season in RSEQ.

The Huskies averaged 70.3 points per a game and scored 1,405 points. They had FG Pct. – 39.1 %. They averaged 13.6 offensive rebounds per a game. The Huskies also averaged 6.5 threes made per a game and had 3PT Pct. – 33.5 % (4th in U SPORTS).  The Huskies are led by their second team all-Canadian guard, Sabine Dukate. Dukate averaged 16.2 points a game and scored 292 points in 18 games this season. She made 111- 279 of her field goals and also had made 40 threes this season. Dukate was fantastic during the Canada-West playoffs as she averaged 22.2 points a game and scored 111 points in five games. She was first in threes made with 21 and second in field goals made with 39.

When it comes to defense, the Huskies allowed 59.3 points per a game (12th in U SPORTS). Their opponents had FG Pct. – 37.4 %.  They average 16.2 turnovers per a game, 7.8 steals per a game and 3.4 steals per a game. Lastly, they averaged 24.3 defensive rebounds per a game.  Forward, Vera Crooks led the team in blocked shots with 19.  Dukate led the team in steals with 30. Lastly forward, Megan Lindquist led the team in defensive rebounds with 87.

The Rouge et Or averaged 71.6 points per a game (8th in U SPORTS) and scored 1,146 points. The team had a FG Pct. – 39.2 %. They averaged 11.4 offensive boards per a game. The Rouge et Or averaged 7.4 threes made per a game (2nd in U SPORTS) and had 3PT Pct. – 31.3 %.  They also averaged 14.9 assists per a game (4th in U SPORTS).  Rouge et Or are led by their first team all- Canadian forward, Jane Gagne on offence. Gagne won RSEQ most outstanding player last week. Gagne averaged 13.6 points per a game and scored 218 points in 16 games.  Rouge et Or arriere, Claudia Emond led the team in threes making 24-70 and 3PT Pct. – 34.3.

On defense, the Rouge et Or held its opponents to 58.9 points per a game and FG Pct. of 34.9 % (11th in U SPORTS). They average 16.0 turnovers per a game, 8.1 steals per a game, 1.8 blocks per a game and averaged 26.3 defensive boards per a game.   Rouge et Or ailiere, Genevieve Derome led the team in blocks with 9.  Rouge et Or ailiere, Raphaelle Cote led the team in defensive rebounds and steals. She had 76 defensive rebounds and 19 steals.

Tip- off: 2:00 p.m.

#3 Queen’s Gaels vs. #6 Cape Breton Capers

The Gaels won OUA silver medal after losing at home to Carleton Ravens in the OUA championship game. This season was the most successful year in program history as they finished with an 18-1 record. Dave Wilson become the first coach in program history to win Peter Ennis award for U SPORTS coach of the year. The Capers won the AUS title after they beat the Acadia Axewomen, 79-61 last Sunday. They had a record of 13-7 in the AUS during the regular season.

The Gaels averaged 73.7 points a game (5th in U SPORTS) and scored 1,400 points this season. They had FG Pct. – 39.8 %. They averaged 28.0 FG made per a game which was second best in the nation. They averaged 18.5 offensive rebounds per a game (2nd in U SPORTS).  Gaels guard, Marianne Alarie led the team in scoring as she averaged 10.7 points per a game and scored 192 points in 18 games.  Queen’s biggest scoring threat is post player, Robyn Pearson who averaged 10.1 points a game and scored 182 points. She had 61 offensive rebounds this season (9th in U SPORTS).

On defense, the Gaels allowed 56.2 points a game and FG Pct. – 33.6 %, sixth in U SPORTS in both categories. The Gaels were fantastic at defending three ball as opponents shot 23.5 % against them, second in U SPORTS.  The Gaels averaged 17.6 turnovers per a game. They led the nation in steals averaging 12.4 per a game. They averaged 3.9 blocks per a game.  Pearson led the team in defensive rebounds with 122.  Guard, Abby Dixon led the team in steals with 45. Post player, Veronika Lavergne led the team in blocks with 14.

The Capers averaged 68.7 points per a game and scored 1,373 points. They had a FG Pct. – 38.0 %.  They led the country in free throws made per a game with 17.8. They averaged 11.1 offensive rebounds per a game. The Capers are led by their first team all- Canadian and AUS MVP forward, Alison Keough.Keough averaged 19.3 points per a game (3rd in U SPORTS) and scored 385 points (2nd in U SPORTS) in 20 games this year.   Keough led U SPORTS in free throws making 111-153.

On defense, the Capers allowed 62.8 points per a game and opponents had FG Pct. – 38.9 %. The team averaged 17.0 turnovers per a game, 8.9 steals per a game and 0.8 blocks per a game. They also averaged 26.1 defensive rebounds per a game. Keough led the team in defensive rebounds with 147 (2nd in U SPORTS) and block shots with 6. Forward, Colleen Keane led the team in steals with 42.

Tip-off: 12:00 p.m.

#4 McGill Martlets vs. #5 Regina Cougars

The Martlets won their six- straight RSEQ championship last Saturday afternoon by beating rival, Concordia Stingers, 63-51. The Martlets posted a record of 9-7 during the RSEQ regular season. The Cougars for a second straight year lost to the Saskatchewan Huskies in the Canada- West championship game. They had a record of 17-3 during the regular season.

The Martlets averaged 59.4 points per a game and scored 951 points this season. They had FG Pct. – 40.2 % (7th in U SPORTS). They averaged 8.1 offensive rebounds per a game. Martlets center, Alexandria Kiss- Rusk is the player that makes team go.  She averaged 14.1 points per a game and scored 225 points.  She had FG Pct. – 48.8 %. For her efforts, she was named a RSEQ first team all-star.  Kiss- Rusk led the team in offensive rebounds with 34.

On defense, the Martlets have held its opponents to 59.4 points per a game and FG Pct. – 34.1% (7th in U SPORTS).  The team averages 21.6 turnovers per a game. They also average 6.5 steals per a game, 3.4 blocks per a game and 25.9 defensive rebounds per a game. Guard, Frederique Potvin led the team in steals with 19. Kiss- Rusk led the team in defensive rebounds with 111 and blocked shots with 35.

“We need ready to work hard and fight for anything we want and if we do that we will be okay,” said Martlets head coach, Ryan Thorne on his team’s expectations for nationals.

“I think that we are one of the best defensive teams in country, we got to go out there and show that and we cannot be afraid, “said Martlets center, Alexandria Kiss- Rusk.

The Cougars averaged 75.1 points per a game (2nd in U SPORTS) and scored 1,502 points (1st in U SPORTS). The team had FG Pct. – 38.9 %.  They averaged 6.9 threes made per a game (5th in U SPORTS) and had 3PT Pct. – 31.0 %. They led U SPORTS in offensive rebounds as they averaged 19.1 rebounds per a game.  The Cougars high- powering offence is led by guard, Katie Polischuk.Polischuk averaged 15.7 points per a game and scored 313 points this season.  She was fourth in three- pointers made with 56-154. She had a 3PT Pct. – 36.4 %.  Polischuk was named a Canada- West all-star for her incredible season. The Cougars also have the next up and coming superstar in rookie guard, Kyanna Giles. Giles won Kathy Shields award for U SPORTS rookie of the year.  In 20 games this season, Giles averaged 12.9 points per a game and scored 258 points.  Forward, Christina McCusker led the team in offensive rebounds with 54.

On defense, the Cougars were the best defensive team in U SPORTS this season as they held opponents to just 52.8 points per a game and FG Pct. – 30.3 %. They averaged 31.1 defensive rebounds per a game (2nd in U SPORTS), 16.8 turnovers per a game, 4.1 blocks per a game and lastly, 10.0 steals per a game.   Giles led the team in defensive rebounds with 94 and steals with 42. McCusker led the team in blocks with 32.

Tip-off: 6:00 p.m.

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