It was another jam-packed week for teams across the country as all inched towards the postseason. The week was filled with a few upsets and surprises especially in the OUA. The AUS and RSEQ conferences continue to be wild as there is no clear favourite right now in either Canada West has a battle between Saskatchewan Huskies, Calgary Dinos and Alberta Pandas. Here are some of key headlines and games of the week from each of the four conferences.
Key Headlines and Games of the Week
Memorial Sea-Hawks still top dog in AUS conference:
The Sea-Hawks entered their two- game series against Saint Mary after a split series with the Cape Breton Capers the previous weekend. The Sea- Hawks won both games, winning 72-67 on Saturday and 84-81 on Sunday morning. Sea-Hawks’ second- year guard, Alana Short was the difference maker in both games against the Huskies, she had twenty points and six rebounds and was the leading scorer in the game during Saturday’s victory. On Sunday, she had another had another twenty -point game with seven rebounds in the win. The Huskies did a good job limiting the Sea- Hawks fifth- year guard, Haille Nickerson in Saturday’s game where she only had 14 points and five rebounds in the win. Nickerson finished the weekend with 26 points and eight rebounds after their Sunday win. Nickerson now leads the AUS in scoring averaging 24.6 points/ game and 394 points this season.
Memorial University is off this upcoming week and will be playing University New Brunswick Varsity Reds next Saturday and Sunday. They enter the matchup with an 12-4 record and their final weekend, they could be battle for the AUS crown against University of Prince Edward Island University Panthers (UPEI) on February 21 and 22.
University of Ontario of Technology (UOIT) Ridgebacks make History:
It’s been a long journey for UOIT who was approved to join OUA basketball in May 2018. They hired head coach, Christa Eniojukan in August of 2018 to lead the team for the first season. She was the head coach of the powerful Durham Elite for two years previous to that . The Ridgebacks throughout their first season came close to their first win of the season in November, when they lost to Varsity Blues 55-54 . However, it was only on February 1st did UOIT led by first year forward/ guard, Dalyssa Fleurgin picked up their first win, 77-70 over Waterloo Warriors. She had 18 points and four rebounds while teammate second- year forward, Hadeza Ismaila also had big game chipping in with 18 points and eight rebounds.
The Ridgebacks will be playing the Nipissing Lakers who have 3-15 record on Friday night then Laurentian Voyageurs who are looking for their third win of the season with a 2-16 record on Saturday.
The Defending Wilson Cup and National Champions, McMaster Marauders are rolling:
The McMaster Marauders right now are playing like one of the best teams in the country right now; having won their last four. In back to back weeks they have upset two national ranked teams in the Queen’s Gaels the two weeks ago and last week, the Ryerson Rams. They beat the Rams, 81-77 in overtime which was the site of their first national championship win. Marauder’s fifth-year guard, Christina Buttenham had double- double with 21 points and ten rebounds in the upset. The next night, McMaster Marauders beat York Lions,76-68 and Buttenham led the way once again with 23 points and eight rebounds. On this Marauders winning streak, Buttenham has been the leading scorer for the team in three out of the four games and has recorded two double- doubles. She likely be an OUA all- star this season as she is fifth in OUA scoring with 294 points.
McMaster Marauders will hoping to continue its winning streak tonight as they play Laurier Golden Hawks tonight and then on Friday, they will play Waterloo Warriors. The Marauders currently have a 11-7 record and are third in central division. The Marauders could be a tough opponent come postseason time as they are heating up at the right time.
Carleton Ravens struggling:
Just weeks ago, the Carleton Ravens were looking like they could win their second OUA Championship in three years. The Ravens currently are on three game losing streak following losses against national ranked opponents in Ryerson Rams, Western Mustangs and Windsor Lancers. They went from fifth to ninth in the latest U Sports rankings. They lost to Western on Friday, 71-54 in London. Fifth- year forward, Alyssa Cerino was the only bright spot in the lost as she recorded a double- double with 19 points and 18 rebounds. The next night, the Windor Lancers who were ranked number- nine beat Carleton,71-67 led by a strong performance by guard, Kayah Clarke who had a double- double with 11 points and 13 rebounds in the win. Ravens third- year guard, Madison Reid was the leading scorer of the game with 20 points and two rebounds in the lost .
The road does not get any easier for the Ravens this weekend as they will play it’s rival and number two ranked, Ottawa Gee-Gees in the Capital Hoops Classic at TD Place on Friday night. The Ravens still have solid record of 13-6
Canada West: Alberta Pandas split with #2 Calgary Dinos:
The Alberta Pandas headed into theior matchup against Calgary Dinos looking to make a statement in Canada West.
The Dinos and Pandas first played a rare Thursday game in Canada West which saw the Dinos win big 88-66 and were lead by fifth-year wing, Erin McIntosh who had 29 points along with five rebounds in the win. The Pandas were lead by fifth-year guard, Vanessa Wild who had 11 points and five rebounds in the lost. Pandas also in the loss got a double- double by fourth- year forward, Brooklyn Legault with 11 points and 11 rebounds. Pandas on Saturday night beat it’s Alberta’s rival, Dinos 78-69. Wild has 23 points along with six rebounds in the victory. The Dinos in the lost were lead by fourth-year wing, Bobbi Jo-Colburn who had 19 points and six rebounds.
The Dinos with the split series move their record to 16-2 and Pandas saw the record improve to 15-3. The Dinos this weekend will be closing out their Canada West regular season with a pair of games against Mount Royal Cougars. Pandas end their regular season against number one team in the country, Saskatchewan Huskies. If the Pandas can pick up a victory, it would be important as it would be a big step towards Pandas demonstrating that they could make a run at Canada West Championship.
Fraser Valley Cascades are the hottest team in Canada:
Since the fourth of January, the Cascades have been doing one thing: Winning.
They have won nine straight games including wins over UBC Thunderbirds and University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC) Timberwolves. The Cascades have one of the youngest teams in U Sports as they have nine players who are either in their first or second year; the team is lead by fifth-year forward, Taylor Claggett. The Cascades this past weekend swept Thompson Rivers Wolfpack winning 75-50 on Friday with a double- double by Claggett who had 12 points along with ten rebounds in the victory. The next night, the Cascades won 91-76 with another double- double by Claggett who had 19 points and 12 rebounds. The Cascades also got another double- double by rookie forward/guard Deanna Tuchscherer who had 14 points along with 12 assists and was rebound shy of triple-double.
Tuchscherer is likely going to win the Canada West Rookie of the year as she’s averaging 15.2 points/ game, with 274 points and 112 rebounds as her season total. In January, she set the Cascades record for most points in regular season game with 35 in win over Trinity Western Spartans. She also just happens to be the daughter of head coach, Al Tuchscherer.
Taylor Claggett is one of the front runners for Canada West MVP as she currently leads the conference in scoring averaging 19.7 points/ game and has scored 354 points in 18 games. She also leads the conference in rebounding with 188 rebounds and free throws as well with 132. Yesterday she was named Canada West player of the month for January as she averaged 19.6 points per a game and scored 176 points in the month of January. She also had 96 rebounds.
The Cascades close out their regular season against Regina Cougars. The Cascades have already clinched a Canada-West playoff spot already and could finish the season with a 16-4 record with a sweep of the Cougars. The 16-4 record would be one of the best in program history.
University of Quebec at Montreal (UQAM) Citadins upset ranked, Laval Rouge et Or:
The Citadins entered their home and home series with the Rouge et Or looking to hold onto its lead of the final RSEQ playoff spot. The Citadins who in recent years somehow always pulls an upset over a ranked opponent in the month of January, in recent years it has been the Concordia Stingers this year, it was the Rouge et Or who were ranked number- six. The Citadins last Thursday night won 67-58 led by third- year guard, Alexe Dufresne who had 24 points and five rebounds in the win. Rouge et Or second- year winger , Khaleann C.-Goudreau had a double- double with 12 points and 12 rebounds in the lost. On Saturday night, Rouge et Or returned to its winning ways beat the Citadins 61-68 in Quebec City. Third- year winger, Carrie-Ann Auger had 20 points and six rebounds in the win. Fourth- year meneur, Clara Blachier had 15 points and nine rebounds in the lost.
The Rouge et Or with the lost still on the top of the RSEQ standings with 8-3 record and still are ranked number-six in U Sports top ten this week. They begin home and home with Concordia Stingers tomorrow night in Quebec City. The Citadins with the split improve their record to 6-7 and jumped to third place in RSEQ standings. They are off this weekend, they will play Laval on February 15 in their next game. McGill Martlets, UQAM Citadins and Concordia Stingers are all battling for the final two spots in RSEQ playoffs. The Martlets sit in fourth place with 5-7 and Stingers are last with 3-8 record. The last few weeks of RSEQ regular season should be very entertaining
Cover Photo: Memorial University Communications