The biggest rivalry in U SPORTS basketball returns to The Arena at TD Place on Friday night with a pair of Top 10 matchups between the Carleton Ravens and uOttawa Gee-Gees.
Despite being potentially the coldest night of the year, the Ravens and Gee-Gees will heat up TD Place when they tip off the final games of the rivalry series trifecta. The women's game promises to be an intense battle when the #2 ranked Ravens face the #8 Gee-Gees.
Carleton (15-2) enters the game having won nine straight including an impressive doubling up of the then-top-ranked Queen's Gaels 64-32 last Friday night. Led by point guard Kali Pocrnic (Oakville, Ont.) Carleton is a dynamic and fast-paced team that has quickly found it's defensive form despite only having one senior forward in the lineup for most of the season.
Pocrnic is the Ravens' engine, 8th in U SPORTS in assists with 70, she has already won Ravens Athlete of the Week presented by The Prescott three times this season. Pocrnic is second in the OUA in minutes played (535), second in free throw percentage (88.5%), first in assists and fourth in points (283).
She's not alone in leading the Ravens as Emma Kiesekamp (Merrickville, Ont.) and Jacqueline Urban (Ancaster, Ont.) provide a one-two-punch at forward that is causing havoc across the OUA. The rookie, Urban, is second in the OUA in rebounds and offensive rebounds and third in defensive rebounds while averaging 10.0 points per game.
The last remaining member of the Ravens national championship team, Kiesekamp sits just outside the top ten in league rebounds while being seventh in blocks with 20.
The Ravens will need to use their impressive defensive play if they want to hold off the Gee-Gees. After holding the Gaels to one point in the third quarter Friday and the Ridgebacks to three in the third Saturday, Carleton will have a tall task trying to quiet Brigitte Lefebvre-Okankwu. The Gee-Gees veteran is second in the OUA shooting a strong 57.5% while also being eighth in the league in steals.
After last season's playoff matchup between these two teams came down to a late three by the Ravens, this matchup promises to be electric when the two teams collide Friday at the Capital Hoops Classic.