The Gee-Gees women's basketball regular season opens with a bang on Friday night, hosting the Carleton Ravens at Montpetit Hall for the Bytowne Battle. The Gee-Gees come into the regular season on a five-game winning streak as the team found success throughout its October exhibition schedule, while the Ravens are the defending national champions.
Tickets are on sale online at tickets.geegees.ca and selling fast. The game, along with all OUA regular season and playoff games, will be webcast live on OUA.tv.
The Ottawa offence has been particularly impressive of late, scoring an average of 87.5 points over the last four games which includes a tournament sweep at Memorial and a 103-42 thumping of NCAA Division three opponent Waynesburg.
Ottawa reached the OUA semifinals in 2017-18 and return ten players from that team for 2018-19, including one complete version of the starting lineup. The Garnet and Grey's all-star point guard Brooklyn McAlear-Fanus is back for her fourth season and filled the scoresheet at the Memorial tournament. At centre Angela Ribarich has been steady in preseason play, providing double-digit scoring in five games and pouring in 26 against Laval.
Team depth overall is evidenced by strong contributions from senior forward Jen Crowe, third-year wing Amélie Hachey, and sophomores Brigitte Lefebvre-Okankwu and Maia Timmons. The Gee-Gees have also welcomed back senior forward Sarah Besselink who was sidelined by injury in 2017-18 and was the team's leading scorer in 2016-17.
Local recruit Alana Renon has played well in preseason, scoring ten points in the team's opener against Concordia and averaging 4.5 points per game through the U SPORTS exhibition schedule. She also netted a personal high of 11 in her first game as a Gee-Gee against Iowa State as part of the Costa Rica trip in August. Fellow recruits Mary Besselink, Melina De Iulio, and Hannah Temple, have seen the floor in supporting roles and will provide valuable minutes throughout the regular season.
Following the home opener on Friday night, which tips off at 6 p.m., Ottawa will host Waterloo and Laurier on November 2 and 3 at Montpetit Hall. The Gee-Gees are also at home for a single game against Lakehead, November 16 which is followed by home games against McMaster and Brock November 23-24. All home games are slated for 6 p.m. starts.
Gee-Gees lineup by year:
5th year – Sarah Besselink (F) *redshirted 2017-18
5th year – Jennifer Crowe (F)
4th year – Anne Carr (F)
4th year – Brooklyn McAlear-Fanus (PG)
4th year – Angela Ribarich (C) * second season with Ottawa, formerly at Lafayette
3rd year – Amélie Hachey (G)
3rd year – Aliisa Heiskanen (F) * redshirted 2015-16
3rd year – Adonaelle Mousamboté (F) * second season with Ottawa, formerly at Brock
2nd year – Mary Besselink (F) * transfer from Bryant University
2nd year – Brigitte Lefebvre-Okankwu (F)
2nd year – Natalie Liguori (G)
2nd year – Maia Timmons (G)
1st year – Melina De Iulio (F)
1st year – Madison Hogg (G)
1st year – Hannah Temple (G)
1st year – Alana Renon (G)