Inaugural Critelli Cup playoffs begin with preliminary round on Wednesday

Inaugural Critelli Cup playoffs begin with preliminary round on Wednesday

NO. 9 BROCK BADGERS @ NO. 8 GUELPH GRYPHONS

"Change the story."

That has been the focus for the Gryphons women's basketball team in 2015-16. They have certainly taken some big steps towards accomplishing that goal this season. Wednesday night on their home court, they will look to take another.

For the first time since the 2012-2013 season, the Gryphons women's basketball program is back in the OUA playoff picture. A total of eight seasons have come and gone since the Gryphons last picked up a postseason victory, with the program's most recent playoff win coming in 2007 over Lakehead in the OUA West Quarter-finals. This year's squad enters into the OUA playoffs in fine form and riding plenty of momentum as they will look to start their postseason run in the exact same way they ended their regular season...with a win over Brock.

The Gryphons defeated the Badgers 57-48 last Saturday in what was part of the final women's-and-men's basketball doubleheader at the W.F. Mitchell Athletics Centre. Now, just four days later, the Gryphons and Badgers are once again set to square off in what will this time serve as the final playoff basketball game played at the W.F. Mitchell Centre.

Next season, the Gryphons are set to move into the New Guelph Gryphons Athletics Centre. "Our team has a great amount of pride playing in this gym," says Gryphons head coach Christin Dickenson, now in her third year in charge of the program.

"The amount of support from the community and the students has been amazing. Our players have fed off of that energy and we would love nothing more than to go out on a winning note in what will be the final [varsity basketball] game played here."

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NO. 10 UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO VARSITY BLUES @ NO. 7 WESTERN MUSTANGS

The University of Toronto Varsity Blues women's basketball team hits the road to take on the Western Mustangs this Wednesday, March 2, in OUA playoff action.

Tip off is scheduled for 6:00 p.m. The game will also be streamed live on OUA.tv.

The Varsity Blues finished the regular season on a high note, upsetting the No. 9 Queen's Gaels to secure an 8-11 record and third place finish in the OUA East division.

The Mustangs, who finished with a 14-6 record in second place in the West, finished sixth on the OUA women's basketball RPI scale.

The Blues went 1-0 versus the Mustangs during the regular season, topping Western 91-87 on the road on Nov. 22. The two teams also met at the U of T Holiday Invitational over the December exam break, with the Blues again coming out on top, 76-71.

Toronto holds an 8-6 post season record versus the Mustangs, dating back to their first playoff meeting in 1974. The two teams last met in the post season at the 2011 CIS Regional final in Fredericton, with the Blues coming away with a thrilling 65-57 victory to advance to the national championship.

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NO. 11 LAURIER GOLDEN HAWKS @ NO. 6 WINDSOR LANCERS

The Lancer women will host the Laurier Golden Hawks at 6:00pm, followed by the men who will welcome the Laurentian Voyageurs at 8:00pm.
 
Tickets for the game can be purchased at the gate starting at 5:00pm. Adults are $12, while Youth & Seniors are $10. The game can also be watched live on TVCogeco Windsor and at www.oua.tv.
 
This will be the third time the Lancers (15-5) and Golden Hawks (9-11) have faced-off this year. The two teams opened up the regular season against each other back in November, with the Lancers coming away with an 85-80 victory. Windsor then won another close contest at the end of January 72-69 on the road at Laurier.
 
The January 27th win against the Hawks kicked off quite the win streak for the Blue & Gold, as they have lost only one game from then until the end of the regular season last Sunday. The Hawks, however, have only won three games since the end of January, including the regular season finale last week against Waterloo.

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NO. 12 LAURENTIAN VOYAGEURS @ NO. 5 QUEEN'S GAELS

The Gaels women's basketball team plays the first round of the playoffs in the ARC main gym on Wednesday at 6pm against Laurentian. For tickets to see the Gaels take on the Voyageurs click here.

The fifth-seed Gaels women's basketball team (14-5) hosts the 12th-seed Laurentian Voyageurs (3-16) in the ARC main gym at 6pm on Wednesday in preliminary OUA playoff action.

Queen's ended their regular season with a pair of losses, falling to second in the OUA East, while Laurentian, losers of their last 11 games, squeaked into the playoffs as the third-place team in the OUA North. Based on their Rating Percentage Index (RPI), the Gaels earned a fifth-place ranking, one spot shy from earning a bye through the preliminary round. The Voyageurs are ranked last among the 12 OUA playoff teams.

The Gaels lost a pair of close games heading into the playoffs against Ryerson and Toronto. Despite 22 points in the fourth quarter, Queen's couldn't complete the comeback, falling 66-61 to Ryerson. In the loss, Emily Hazlett (Fredericton) tied a career-high of 19 points to go with eight rebounds, five steals, and four assists. Robyn Pearson (Toronto) ended the night with a double-double on 14 points and 13 rebounds.

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