It is the beginning of the most wonderful time of the U Sports Women’s basketball season with nationals kicking off on Thursday. Laval Rouge et Or enter the tournament as top dog and favorite to hoist it’s first ever Bronze Baby. RSEQ silver medallists, Concordia Stingers received at- large berth and are #7 seed.
#2 McMaster Marauders vs. #7 Concordia Stingers-
McMaster Marauders enter nationals as #2 seed after they won OUA Championship game beating Ottawa Gee-Gees,79-75. The Stingers lost Laval Rouge et Or in RSEQ championship game,75-55. Marauders last year were eliminated by McGill Martlets in quarterfinals while Stingers are making their first appearance since 1999.
The Marauders led the OUA/3rd in U Sports / per a game with 79.3,1904 points in 24 games. The Stingers averaged 65.1points a game,1050 points in 16 games.
The Marauders held its opponents to 59.0 points/game which was fourth in OUA and 9th in U Sports. They averaged 14.3 turnovers/ per a game which was second in OUA. The Stingers limited it’s opposition to 60.4 points/ game which was third in RSEQ. They averaged 12.3 turnovers per a game which was first in RSEQ .
McMaster has never won the Bronze Baby, if they end up winning it, the big reason would because of its fifth-year guard, Hillary Hanaka. Hanaka averaged 14.6 points/ per a game,336 points. She also had 70 rebounds during the regular season. In the playoffs, she averaged 15.0 points/ per a game in three games. She scored 22 points in OUA championship game against the Gee-Gees. The Stingers like Marauders have never won the U Sports championship, Stingers will lead heavily on rookie guard, Myriam Leclerc. Leclerc won RSEQ rookie of the year after she averaged 18.8 points/ a game, 301 points which topped the conference. She also had 82 rebounds. In the RSEQ championship game, she was held to nine points and three rebounds.
#3 Saskatchewan Huskies vs. #6 Acadia Axewomen-
The Huskies won their third Canada-West championship in four years beating Regina Cougars, 53-49. The Axewomen won their second- straight AUS championship. The Huskies made it all the way to Championship game losing to Carleton Ravens last year. The Axewomen were eliminated in quarterfinals by Huskies.
The Huskies averaged 81.3 points/ game,1627 points in 20 games which was first in Canada- West / U Sports. The Axewomen averaged 78.3 points/ per a game ,1567 points which was second in AUS.
The Huskies held its opponents to 55.7 points/ per a game this season which led the CW. They averaged 17.6 turnovers per a game. The Axewomen limited it’s opponents to 69.8 points per a game. They averaged 14.3 turnovers per a game.
If the Huskies return to Championship game this season, third- year forward, Summer Masikewich would be the reason why. Masikewich averaged 13.4 points/ per a game,268 points and 163 rebounds. She was named CW defense player of the year after grabbing 96 defensive boards. She has kicked it up a notch in CW playoffs averaging 17.2 points/ per a game,86 points in three games. She led the playoffs in rebounding with 57. She had a double- double in CW championship game with 18 points and 14 rebounds. The Axewomen are led by AUS junior all- star guard, Haley McDonald. She averaged 23.3 points per a game, set a new record for points scored in a season with 465. She also had 74 assists. In the AUS tournament, she averaged 31.0 points per a game in three games. She had 93 points including a new AUS record, 51 points in AUS semi- finals against UPEI. She had 29 points In AUS championship game against Memorial.
#1 Laval Rouge et Or vs . #8 Ryerson Rams-
Laval heads into nationals as the #1 seed after winning the RSEQ championship game over the Stingers. The Rams were eliminated by Carleton Ravens in quarterfinals. Last season, the Rouge et or were eliminated by Regina Cougars in quarterfinals. The Rams did not make the final 8 last year.
The Rouge et Or averaged 74.2 points/ per a game,1187 points , one of the most points ever by Quebec squad. The Rams averaged 73.0 points per a game,1678 points in 23 games.
The Rouge et Or limited it’s opponents to 53.5 points per a game; which was first in USports. They averaged 16.4 turnovers per a game which was fourth in conference. The Rams’s opposition averaged 57.1 points per a game which was third in OUA and fifth in U Sports. The Rams averaged 15.9 turnovers per a game, seventh in OUA .
The Rouge et Or are yet to win U Sports championship as they were runner-ups two years ago; if they win a title this season, a big reason would be because of the play of RSEQ MVP fifth-year arriere, Sarah Jane- Marois. She averaged 13.0 points/ game with 208 points in 16 games. She also had 57 assists. She led the conference in FT % with .946. She had 18 points and five rebounds in RSEQ championship game. The Rams like Rouge et Or have never won the Bronze Baby, they were a runner- up a few seasons ago, would it be cool to see host team win the championship. The Rams will depend on fifth- year forward OUA all-star, Sofia Paska. Paska averaged 13.3 points/ game and had 239 points this season. She also had 140 rebounds. In the playoffs, she averaged 15.5 points/ game with 30 points. She also had 26 rebounds which was the most in OUA .
#4 Ottawa Gee-Gees vs. #5 Regina Cougars-
The Gee- Gees were defeated on their home court by Marauders in OUA championship game.
The Cougars head into nationals as CW silver medallists after losing to Huskies in CW championship game for the third time in four years. The Gee- Gees did not make it to nationals last year but they did win an bronze medal at final 8 in 2012. The Cougars won bronze medal at last year’s final 8 as host.
The Gee-Gees averaged 77.4 points/ game,1781 points which was third in conference and seventh in U Sports. The Cougars averaged 79.7 points/ game,1593 points which was second in conference and U Sports.
The Gee-Gees held its opponents to 56.1 points/ game, 2nd in OUA and 4th in U Sports. They averaged 15.2 turnovers per a game. The Cougars opposition averaged 57.1 points/game 2nd in CW and 6th in U Sports.
The Gee-Gees have never won a U Sports championship, if they did it would be because of their second- year forward and OUA all-star , Brigitte Lefebvre-Okankwu. Lefebvre-Okankwu averaged 14.0 points/game,323 points in 23 games. She also had 141 rebounds. In the postseason, she averaged 10.0 points/ game,30 points and 15 rebounds. She had 12 points and four rebounds in OUA championship game. The Cougars won the national championship in 2001, for them to win another one they will need a strong supporting cast. The Cougars will be out their CW all- star and leading scorer, Kyanna Giles at the tournament as she suffered an shoulder injury in CW championship game. Second- year guard, Carolina Goncalves will be looked upon to lead the way, she averaged 10.4 points/ game,177 points and 63 rebounds this season. In the playoffs, she averaged 9.6 points/ game,48 points and 19 rebounds.