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PREVIEW: #3 Gee-Gees look to continue hot streak as they take on #6 Ravens in Capital Hoops matchup

Greg Mason.
Greg Mason.

In a matchup ridden with playoff implications, the #3 Gee-Gees women's basketball team takes on the #6 Carleton Ravens in the Capital Hoops Classic this Friday night at the Canadian Tire Centre.

Now in it's 12th edition, the women's edition of the Capital Hoops Classic has featured a number of highly competitive matchups with the Ravens holding an 8-3 advantage since the 2007-2008 season, while the Gee-Gees are firmly in control of the all time head-to-head leading 66-34 since 1971. Between the years of 2012 and 2015, the Gee-Gees won three of the four Capital Hoops matchups, while the Ravens have won the past three events.

In their matchup to open the OUA regular season, the Ravens defeated the Gee-Gees 58-56 at Montpetit Hall on October 26th. At the time of the game, the Ravens were ranked eighth in the U SPORTS top ten poll, while the Gee-Gees were ranked ninth. 

Since that time, the Ravens have peaked at fourth and are now sitting at sixth, while the Gee-Gees have risen steadily and are now ranked third after their win against the highly ranked Ryerson Rams last weekend. With their wins against the Rams and the Toronto Varsity Blues, the Gee-Gees moved into sole possession of first place in the OUA. 

Perhaps the biggest matchup will be the Ravens trying to stop the Gee-Gees three point shooting. The Gee-Gees rank seventh this season in U SPORTS having made 33.4 percent of their three point attempts, while the Ravens have allowed their opponents to connect on just 24.6 percent of their downtown attempts this season, the second lowest percentage in U SPORTS. Overall it will be a compelling matchup, as the Gee-Gees also rank third in U SPORTS in points per game (78.4), while the Ravens are third in points per game allowed (54.3).

The Gee-Gees brought back all but two players from last years team that lost in heartbreaking fashion to in the OUA semifinals, including the return of fifth year guard Sarah Besselink who missed all of last season with a knee injury. For the Ravens, this years team looks much different, as they lost four of their five starters from last years team that was crowned U SPORTS champions in March.

The Gee-Gees have used a balanced approach on the offensive end of the floor this season to pick apart their opponents, as four of the five starters are averaging 10 or more points per game, with the fifth just narrowly missing out at 9.7 per game. Leading the way is Brigitte Lefebvre-Okankwu who is averaging 14.2 points per game on 53.8 percent shooting, which ranks her second in the OUA in field goal percentage, trailing only frontcourt partner Angela Ribarich who leads the conference at 57.6 percent.

The Gee-Gees have also been lethal from the perimeter thanks to Amélie Hachey, who leads U SPORTS having made 47.9 percent of her three pointers this season, while Besselink ranks seventh in the OUA hitting 37.1 percent of hers. Meanwhile, Brooklynn McAlear-Fanus has been the driving force of the Gee-Gees team all season as she is averaging a team leading 4.9 assists per game, which is good for second in U SPORTS this season.