It's been a long wait for the next meeting between the Ravens and Rams but after almost 26 months the two teams will finally collide again on Wednesday night. Unlike the meeting in 2020, in which the Rams won 51-49, this one is more than a late January encounter. The winner of Wednesday's OUA East Final will secure their spot in the Critelli Cup on Saturday while also clinching a birth at the U SPORTS Final 8 in Kingston at the beginning of April.
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In the shorter term, this is the one matchup basketball fans in Ontario have been left wanting this season. The Rams (14-0) and Ravens (10-4) never met in the regular season, having their early 2022 games wiped off the schedule due to the extended COVID-19 pause. The Rams enter the contest coming off a 67-58 win over a scrappy Queen's Gaels team who are already heading to the Final 8, as hosts. The Ravens on the other hand used a pair of last-minute threes to get past the Gee-Gees, setting up Wednesday night.
The Rams relied heavily on Jama Bin-Edward, Rachel Farwell and Eleanor Jones on Saturday. The three combined for 47 of the Rams' 67 points, while also collecting 20 rebounds. Together the Rams are the OUA's best shooting team, averaging 40.9% in the regular season while sitting third in points per game with 74.4. On the other side of the ball, the Rams were an OUA best with only 50.1 points allowed per game, often stifling teams on transition with a massive 12.6 steals per game.
The number 5 ranked Ravens are no slouch entering the game top five in points per game, field goal percentage, offensive rebounds, blocks and defensive points allowed per game. Led at the guard position by Oakville's Kali Pocrnic and Winona's Tatyanna Burke the Ravens have a mix of youth and veteran leadership that hopes to cause problems for the Rams. At forward the Ravens will lean on all-time three-point record holder Madison Reid and, a teammate from the 2018 U SPORTS Championship team, Emma Kiesekamp as they provide key veteran leadership. In Saturday's win against the Gee-Gees Kiesekamp put up 11 points while Reid chipped in 9 of her own.