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RECAP: #2 Gee-Gees women’s basketball overpower Laurier and Waterloo

Photo: Greg Mason.
Photo: Greg Mason.

The U SPORTS second-ranked Gee-Gees women's basketball team powered to two wins over Laurier and Waterloo to open their 2019-20 OUA regular season this weekend at home. 

In Friday's game, the Gee-Gees defeated the Laurier Golden Hawks 87-50 in the team's home opener at Montpetit Hall. Paced by a balanced scoring performance seeing 11 different players register a point, Ottawa downed Laurier with relative ease.

Against Waterloo, the Gee-Gees logged big first and third quarters to coast to a 97-61 win. The scoring performance highlighted the kind of high octane offensive this Ottawa team is equipped with. The third quarter saw the Gee-Gees outscore the Warriors 35-9 as they wrapped up the game with plenty of time to spare.

Defence was key in both of the weekend's win as the Gee-Gees saw Laurier turn the ball over 32 times, and Waterloo 34 times, resulting in 30 and 40 points respectively.

In the Laurier game, the Gee-Gees clamped down on defence in the second half, with the Golden Hawks only scoring 22 points in the final two frames. Meanwhile, the Gee-Gees scored 50 second half points to secure the win.

Brigitte Lefebvre-Okankwu led the highly-balanced effort for the Gee-Gees with eight points and three rebounds. Meanwhile Brooklynn McAlear-Fanus and Katherine Follis added seven points each. 

McAlear-Fanus, a First Team OUA All-Star last season, was back to her regular outstanding play on Saturday, logging 14 points, six assists, and four steals. Follis logged a career-best 21 points, nine rebounds and three assists.

"In general, I'd probably give the weekend a B-minus," said head coach Andy Sparks. "There's lots of stuff we still have to clean up. Certainly we have enough on the offensive side of things, but we didn't guard the ball the as well as we need to. It's early in the year, there's always stuff to work on."

Despite returning a large contingent of talent from last year, it is some newcomers to the program that are turning heads early in the season. Fifth-year transfers Follis, Tyra Blizzard, as well as first-year guard Natsuki Szczokin were key pieces for the Gee-Gees all weekend. With this injection of veteran and new talent, Ottawa seems to be playing some of the best basketball in recent program history.

"Every game we play we keep finding things to improve on and get better on," said Follis. "I think this year this team has so many different key pieces that if a team takes one piece away we're going to have another player step up. I think having the depth that we do will be really key for us throughout the season."

Up next, the Gee-Gees will take on Ontario Tech in Oshawa on Friday, before stopping in Kingston to take on Queen's in what is always a great matchup on Saturday. Both games tip off at 6 p.m. and will be streaming live on OUA.tv