BURLINGTON, Ont. – In potentially the biggest game of the season in OUA women's basketball, the U SPORTS No. 5 nationally ranked Carleton Ravens (14-1) will head to Kingston on Friday to take on the No. 3 Queen's Gaels (16-0) in the OUA.tv Marquee Matchup.
Tipoff is scheduled for 6:00 p.m. from Queen's Athletics and Recreation Centre (ARC) in Kingston. If you can't make it to the game, fans can catch all the action streaming live Friday night on OUA.tv.
The hometown Gaels continue to rise in the U SPORTS Top10 and earlier this week reached a program best No. 3 ranking in the country. Queen's come into Friday's tilt as the only unbeaten team in the country with a 16-0 record.
However, Carleton soars into the Queen's ARC on an impressive streak of their own as the Ravens have rattled off 14 consecutive wins after dropping their season opener to Algoma. Since then, they've been one of the hottest teams in the country and are coming off a big 57-44 win over the crosstown rival uOttawa Gee-Gees in the Capital Hoops Classic.
Prior to the start of the season, Queen's and Carleton faced off in the 11th annual McKeen Metro Glebe Tournament in Ottawa with the Ravens defeating the Gaels 67-60. With the win, the Ravens improved to 3-0 on the weekend, winning the tournament for the first time since 2012.
You'd have to go all the way back to Jan. 30, 2016 to find the last time the two teams faced each other in the OUA regular season. In that matchup it was all Carleton as Ravens' guards Stephanie Carr (Stittsville, Ont.) and Nicole Gilmore (Hamilton, Ont.) each finished with a game-high 18 points in an 86-66 win for the home side.
A major reason for the Ravens' success was the rebounding of the aforementioned Gilmore and forward Heather Lindsay (Ottawa, Ont.). The pair dominated the glass at both ends of the court for Carleton and combined for 18 rebounds, just five boards shy of the Gaels team total.
Coming off the bench, Gaels guard Marianne Alarie (Sudbury, Ont.) had a team high 17 points in 23 minutes of action.
With an unblemished record, it should come as no surprise that the Gaels have dominated the conference and lead in several statistical categories. As a team, Queen's is shooting a league best 40.8 percent from the field, while limiting the opposition to just 22.3 percent from beyond the arch. However, they arguably haven't faced a team quite like Carleton as the Ravens are the stingiest team in OUA, allowing a league low 50.7 points against per game.
Carleton will need to play a disciplined game if they're to hand the Gaels their first loss of the season as Queen's gets to the free throw line more than any team in OUA, averaging just under 22 attempts per game.
It'll be a battle of boards again on Friday night as the aforementioned Lindsay will go up against Queen's power forward Robyn Pearson (Toronto, Ont.). Lindsay leads the conference, averaging 11.4 rebound per game, while Pearson's 10.6 rebounds per game ranks third. Both Lindsay and Pearson are only two of four players in OUA to be averaging a double-double this season.
A major reason for the Gaels success this season has been their scoring depth as all five Queen's starters are averaging nine points or more per game. The previously mentioned Pearson leads the way with 11.1 points per game and is followed closely by fourth-year veteran Andrea Priamo (Guelph, Ont.) half a point back.
Now in her fifth and final season with the Gaels, guard Emily Hazlett (Fredericton, N.B.) is the heart and soul of a Queen's team that is chasing their first OUA women's basketball championship since the 2000-01 season. Starting all 16 games this year for the Gaels, Hazlett, a native of Fredericton, N.B., ranks fifth in the conference with 63 assists.
The Ravens received a boost this year when Catherine Traer (Chelsea, Que.), who spent the past four seasons with the rival Gee-Gees, transferred to Carleton prior to the start of the season to complete her MA in Political Science. Traer is averaging 14.5 points per game, which ranks her tenth in the conference and second on the Ravens roster.
Friday's matchup between two of Canada's best is one that OUA basketball fans won't want to miss as the playoff race heats up. For ticket information visit www.gogaelsgo.com/tickets or watch the game streaming live Friday night at 6:00 pm on OUA.tv!