TORONTO, ON – After the winter break and a month of waiting in anticipation, OUA Women’s Basketball is returning. On February 9, 2022, regular-season games will resume with the completion of the originally scheduled games and the awarding of the Critelli Cup for the first time since 2020.
Programs were able to return to train as of January 31. We now enter under 72 hours until school colours take the hardwood and the season that athletes and programs have pushed for continues. Let’s look back at the first half of the season as we preview what the rest of the season could look like on the court.
The first half of the season saw four teams finish with an undefeated record, 2 in each division. In the East, the Rams and the Gee-Gees each finished 6-0. In the West, the Badgers and Mustangs lead the pack with a 7-0 and 6-0 record, respectively.
Though we don’t know if games will be added to the season and how the playoffs will play out, the first semester gave us signs of who to look for all across the league.
McMaster’s Sarah Gates has been on a tear this season. She leads the OUA with 25.5 points per game and sits 13th in the OUA with 7.7 rebounds per game. She has been the soul of the Marauders team throughout the first half of the season, and there’s nothing that proves it won’t continue as her senior year goes on. The Marauders are 5-1, and the end of their currently scheduled season includes two games against the 7-0 Brock Badgers on February 16th and 19th in what should be great matchups.
Julia Chadwick of the 3-2 Queen’s Gaels has been having a standout season; she sits 3rd in the OUA in points per game, she is averaging an OUA best 12 rebounds per game and is shooting a stellar 50% on the year, which is fourth-best in the league. Her dynamic play has created another threat for the Gaels offence, and her massive day against Laurentian on November 27, 2021, where she had 30 points and 11 rebounds, is one of several everyone should watch if they’d like to know how she can impact a game.
The 7-0 Badgers have powerful guards: Mackenzie Robinson, Jenneke Pilling, rookie Madalyn Weinert, and OCAA transfer Ivana Twumasi. Ivana has been impactful and arguably the most noticeable spark for the Badgers offence this year. Her facilitation abilities and her toughness make her a fun guard to watch. The Badgers currently have three more games scheduled, one more match with the Windsor Lancers and then a home and away against the McMaster Marauders.
The York Lions are 3-3, 5th in the OUA East with a big victory over the Carleton Ravens, to show for in the first half of the year. Someone that helped them get that done is Cyanna King, who had a phenomenal preseason and continued that into the regular season. She does everything for the Lions, existing as a primary scorer and rebounder, and her talents shine under the lights as she helps lead her Lions through the season.
When it comes to taking control of a team and their destiny, look at Western Mustang’s Ariane Saumure. Ariane, alongside Madalyn Picton, are the starting guards for the 6-0 Mustangs, and she has stepped up in every category to give whatever she can. Averaging 16.2 points per game, 8.5 rebounds, 3.8 assists and shooting 46%, Ariane is amongst the top in the OUA in every category. She has taken the reigns for the Mustangs as they have pushed to their undefeated record.
We are a week away from the regular season continuing, and with the OUA Critelli Cup set to be awarded on March 26, competition is ramping back up amongst the programs. Those are some names to look out for as the games resume and the rollercoaster that has been the 2021-2022 OUA season gets its ending, and a new champion is crowned.