BURLINGTON, Ont. – In a potential OUA Final Four preview, the No. 5 nationally ranked Windsor Lancers (7-0) will travel to Toronto this weekend for a showdown with the defending Critelli Cup champions and No. 8 ranked Ryerson Rams (5-1).
Tipoff is scheduled for 4:00 p.m. from Coca Cola Court in Toronto. Fans can catch all the action streaming live Saturday on OUA.tv or can watch the game (as well as the Lancers-Rams men's basketball game) locally on Rogers TV Cable 10 & 63.
Meeting for the first time since the OUA semifinal a season ago, Windsor will be out for revenge as it was Ryerson who defeated the Lancers 79-62, denying the defending three-time OUA champs a chance at a fourth straight provincial title. In that contest, Windsor forward Emily Prevost (Montreal, QC.) had a game high 22 points, while former Ram Silvana Jez had a team high 20 points and nine rebounds in the victory.
The Lancers enter Saturday having rattled off seven consecutive wins to open the year, the longest such streak in the conference so far this season, and are coming off a commanding 70-42 win over the University of Toronto Varsity Blues on Wednesday night. Once again, Prevost led the charge for the Lancers, scoring a game high 16 points to go along with six rebounds, six blocks and five steals in 25 minutes of action.
Five-time OUA Coach of the Year Chantal Vallée has the high-powered Lancers in midseason form through just seven games as Windsor leads OUA in several statistical categories, including: points (547), field goal percentage (43.2) and opponents three-point percentage (23.1).
Not to be outdone, Ryerson head coach Carly Clarke has the Rams tied with the rival Queen's Gaels atop the OUA East Division. After a narrow 68-66 loss on the road against the Laurier Golden Hawks to open the season, the Rams have won five straight and will look to make it six consecutive on Saturday to close out the 2016 portion of the schedule.
Ryerson leads OUA averaging 49.2 rebounds per game, 32.5 of which have come off the defensive glass which also ranks tops in the conference. Another key to success so far this season for the Rams has been their discipline, as the team is only averaging 12.5 personal fouls per game, the lowest mark in the league.
The Rams will look to forward Sofia Paska (Etobicoke, Ont.) to continue her strong play as the third-year early childhood studies major currently ranks fourth in the league in rebounds per game (10.8) and sixth in points per game (17.3). Paska will also be asked to keep the aforementioned Prevost in check, as the Montreal, QC. native is averaging 9.7 points and 8.0 rebounds per game over the course of seven games so far this season.
Ryerson needs to find an answer to Carly Steer (Windsor, Ont.) on Saturday, as coming off the bench this season for her hometown Lancers, the third-year guard leads the team averaging 13.9 points per game, while her 24 three-pointers made is the highest mark in the conference despite averaging just over 21 minutes per game.
Following an outstanding career as a member of the uOttawa Gee-Gees, the Rams roster received a much needed offseason boost in the form of fifth-year guard Kellie Ring (Ottawa, Ont.) who transferred to Ryerson to pursue her Masters of Digital Media. Through six games this season, the Ottawa, Ont. native is averaging 14.0 points, 6 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game, while providing a veteran presence in the locker room for a young Rams squad. Behind Ring, Rams guards Cara Tiemens (Newmarket, Ont.) and C'airah Gabriel-Robinson (Missisauga, Ont.) are averaging 10.0 and 7.5 points per game, respectively.
In addition to the aforementioned Prevost and Steer, the Lancers lineup is one of the deepest offensively in the province, if not the country, as three other Windsor players are averaging more than nine points per game.
Freshman Kayah Clarke (Hamilton, Ont.) has taken the league by storm in her first season and is an early candidate for OUA Rookie of the Year as the former Hamilton Transway standout ranks second behind Steer with 13.0 points per game.
Fourth-year centre Cheyanne Roger (Etobicoke, Ont.) sits third on the Lancers averaging 10.4 points, while in her fifth and final season, guard Caitlyn Longmuir (Kingsville, Ont.) shows no signs of slowing down as her 9.7 points per game is the highest mark of her career.
Led by a raucous "Ryerson Ram Pack," the not-so-friendly confines of Coca Cola Court haven't been kind to visitors recently. The Rams have lost just twice on home court in the past calendar year with their last loss coming Jan. 23, 2016 in a narrow 76-73 overtime decision against uOttawa.
Tickets to the game are now available. Ryerson students, staff and faculty receive FREE admission (with your OneCard) to all Ryerson Rams regular season home games.