OTTAWA – In conjunction with the University of Ottawa and Carleton University, Canadian Tire Centre announced today that the venue will host the 10th annual MBNA Capital Hoops Classic on Friday, Feb. 5. The event will feature two games – a women’s matchup between the Ottawa Gee-Gees and Carleton Ravens at 6 p.m., followed by the men’s contest between the same schools at 8 p.m. Tickets start at $10 and will go on sale on Friday, Nov. 27, at 10 a.m.
Since its debut in 2007, the MBNA Capital Hoops Classic has played host to some of the highest recorded attendance figures in Canadian Interuniversity Sport basketball history. The inaugural game, which featured only a men’s contest, attracted 9,730 fans. In 2009, a new record was established when Canadian Tire Centre hosted 10,523 people for the event. That record was broken in 2015 when 10,780 basketball fans took in the action.
“We are proud of the 10 years of outstanding CIS basketball that has been brought to Canadian Tire Centre through our partnership,” said Marc Schryburt, University of Ottawa’s director of sports services. “Having the rivalry between these four premiere basketball programs showcased each year has been a huge boost to the players’ experience and adds so much to our fan engagement.”
Ottawa’s women’s basketball team – the winners of last year’s MBNA Capital Hoops Classic – hope to build off of a 5-0 start, that currently has the team sitting atop the OUA North Division standings. The league’s leading scorer, Catherine Traer, will be joined by Kellie Ring, who was vital in the Gee-Gees 2015 win with a game-high 15 points. The Ravens look to rebound from last year’s defeat with the assistance of 2014-15 OUA Second-Team All-Star Lindsay Shotbolt and junior Heather Lindsay, who currently leads Carleton in scoring, rebounding and blocks through five games.
The Gee-Gees, Canada’s top-ranked men’s basketball team, have possessed the most powerful offence in the nation over the last two seasons averaging more than 90 points per game, which is partly attributed to recent performances of Mike L’African and all-star forward Caleb Agada. Ranked second in the country, the Ravens are riding an 18-game CIS regular-season and playoff undefeated streak dating to Jan. 24. While the Ravens currently trail their Ottawa rivals in the standings, Carleton has won the last eight MBNA Capital Hoops Classics.
“It is incredible that we are celebrating the 10th anniversary,” said Jennifer Brenning, Carleton University’s director of recreation and athletics. “The record-setting attendance last year signifies what a great event this is for our students, faculty, staff, alumni and fans who come out to support our student-athletes in their school colours.”