The U SPORTS sixth-ranked Gee-Gees women's basketball (16-2) extended their current winning streak to six games and moved into sole possession of first place in the OUA standings this weekend with wins over second-ranked Ryerson Rams (15-3) and the Toronto Varsity Blues (4-14).
On Friday night, in a matchup between two of the elite teams in U SPORTS hoops this season, the Gee-Gees and Rams played a tight game all the way down to the wire, before the Gee-Gees eventually pulled out a 60-57 victory.
Despite holding the lead for only 16 seconds all game until late in the fourth quarter when they took the lead for good, the Gee-Gees kept the game close as the largest deficit they faced was 10 points.
Coming into the game both teams were ranked among the elite of U SPORTS in most major offensive and defensive statistical categories, however as the game wore on it became clear that this game would be defined by the defensive toughness of the teams. Both teams were held well under their scoring averages on the season, as each team was able to take away those elements of their opponent's offence that have been most dangerous this season.
The Gee-Gees came into the game on top of the OUA in three point shooting as a team, but were held to just 3-19 from behind the arc for the game. On the other end, the Rams have terrorized teams with their offensive rebounding and their ability to turn them into points, however the Gee-Gees allowed the Rams just eight second chance points on 10 offensive rebounds.
"It's on days like this when you don't make a lot of shots that you need to do something special defensively and I felt like we came together to do that tonight," said head coach Andy Sparks of his team holding the Rams to just 33.3 percent shooting from the field.
Leading the way for the Gee-Gees was Brigitte Lefebvre-Okankwu who finished with a game high 18 points. As well the Gee-Gees got big performances from Brooklynn McAlear-Fanus and Angela Ribairch, both of whom Coach Sparks was very impressed with after the game.
On Saturday night, the Gee-Gees made sure to not let the opportunity to solidify their position atop the OUA standings slip as they cruised to a comfortable 79-58 win over the Varsity Blues.
The Gee-Gees got some big first quarter play from fifth year guard Jennifer Crowe, who scored six points in the first frame on perfect 3/3 shooting.
Meanwhile Lefebvre-Okankwu continued to produce on the offensive end of the floor, tallying 13 of her eventual game-high 22 points in the first half. In that first half, the Gee-Gees defence smothered the Varsity Blues as they held them to just 22 points on 23.3 percent shooting and forcing them into 12 turnovers.
The Gee-Gees started the third quarter on an 11-0 run and never looked back as they were able to put the game out of reach.
The Gee-Gees are back in action on Friday night as they take on the #8 Carleton Ravens in the annual Capital Hoops Classic matchup at the Canadian Tire Centre. Tickets can be purchased at client services desks in both the Minto Sports Complex and Montpetit Hall.