SARNIA, Ontario — All eyes will be on the OCAA on Tuesday night.
There are few mid-week games in college basketball across all levels in Canada. Most university programs play on Fridays and Saturdays during the regular season, while the bulk of the action from colleges in the CCAA will fall on the same days of the week. However, the OCAA will have Tuesday games each week which help bridge the gap and give basketball fans something to look forward to in between busy weekends.
This week, there are five combined games across Canada between men’s and women’s basketball featuring U Sports and CCAA institutions, and all five games come from the OCAA. There are two men’s games, while three women’s games will take place over the course of Tuesday evening.
One interesting thing about Tuesday’s action is that both of the top-ranked teams in the latest OCAA rankings will be in action. The George Brown Huskies moved up one spot to the #1 spot on the men’s side of things, while the Fanshawe Falcons held down the top spot on the women’s side after picking up a win in their lone game last week. Both are at home and will look to kick off their week with a win.
Here’s a brief look at Tuesday’s action in the Morning Shootaround.
Top Ranked George Brown Hosts Georgian
Thanks to an upset win by the Redeemer Royals over the Sheridan Bruins, there is a new top team in the OCAA: the George Brown Huskies. At a perfect 4-0, the Huskies are more than deserving of the top ranking, and they will be looking to remain at the top throughout the regular season.
George Brown picked up a 99-70 win over the Canadore Panthers in their lone game last week.
The Huskies have little time to enjoy the top ranking before they set out to defend their position as they are on the court at home Tuesday night for a contest against the Georgian Grizzlies. The Grizzlies come into the week with a 2-2 record, and are in a two-way tie for fifth-place in the OCAA East Division with the Algonquin Thunder.
Like George Brown, the Grizzlies also knocked off Canadore last week, picking up their second win of the season by way of an 87-84 decision.
On offense, the Huskies have five players who are averaging double-digit points per game over their first four games. Guard Liban Mohamed leads the team with an average of 18.5 points per game, while forward Adam Costanzo is averaging a double-double of 15.8 points and 11.3 rebounds per contest. With so many weapons on the offensive end of the floor, the Grizzlies will have a tall order in front of them on Tuesday night. It’s a ‘pick your poison’ type of scenario for Georgian College, as George Brown has several players who can hurt you in different ways on both ends of the court.
Tuesday night marks the first of two meetings between the two programs in the regular season.
Fanshawe Hosts St. Clair in Top 10 OCAA Battle
The Fanshawe Falcons have been playing at a high clip throughout the first two weeks of the 2018-19 regular season, and they have shown zero signs of slowing down. The top-ranked Falcons have passed each and every test put in front of them to this point, but they have another stern test on the horizon on Tuesday night.
Fanshawe will play host to the eighth-ranked St. Clair Saints in London on Tuesday night, and they will be looking to keep things rolling with another big win. The Falcons enter the night with a 4-0 record, and all of their wins have come by at least 20 points. Their closest game was a 20-point victory against the Lambton Lions in the second game of the season.
They have a win over the reigning CCAA Champions under their belts already, as they knocked off the Humber Hawks in the season opener, 79-51.
As for the Saints, they come into Tuesday night with a 2-1 record, and they are riding a modest two-game winning streak after dropping their season opener to Sheridan. The Saints recorded an 80-48 win over the Conestoga Condors this past Saturday, and they will be looking to put an end to Fanshawe’s four-game winning streak to start the season.
Through four games, fourth-year guard Chuot Angou has taken on a leading role with the Falcons. She leads the team with an average of 16.3 points per game on 46.9% shooting from the floor. While she missed the Falcons’ win against Lambton, Mikhaila Wright has been an impact player on both ends of the floor through three games. The fourth-year guard is averaging 10.7 points, 7.0 rebounds, and 2.3 assists per game, and she has recorded at least six rebounds in each of her games this season.
Fanshawe will need both Angou and Wright to have strong games on Tuesday night if they want to remain perfect and stay atop the OCAA rankings.
The Falcons will have their hands full with a Saints’ offense that features three double-digit scorers of their own. Second year guard Anna Ulicny leads St. Clair in scoring, averaging 17.0 points per contest. She has reached double-figures in every game this season, and she went for 21 points in the Saints’ season opener against Sheridan.
Logan Kucera plays a similar role to that of Wright for the Falcons, as she is an impact player on both ends of the court. Kucera is averaging 13.3 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 4.0 assists per game, and will look to continue her strong two-way play to help guide the Saints to a victory.
Georgian Grizzlies @ #8 George Brown Huskies (6:00pm EST; Toronto, ON)
#9 St. Clair Saints @ #1 Fanshawe Falcons (6:00pm EST; London, ON)
Loyalist Lancers @ #3 Durham Lords (7:00pm EST; Oshawa, ON)
Georgian Grizzlies @ #1 George Brown Huskies (8:00pm EST; Toronto, ON)
#8 St. Clair Saints @ #7 Fanshawe Falcons (8:00pm EST; London, ON)
– T. Bennett