While most of their games take place on university campuses, next week women’s basketball plays Windsor at the Enercare Centre as part of the NBA All-Star Weekend in Toronto.
“I think it’s something that the girls will never forget,” head coach Dave Wilson said.
The OUA organized this game in liaison with the NBA, making it officially part of NBA All-Star Weekend. In addition, the Gaels got tickets to the Center Court action, which involves the Rising Stars Rookie-Sophomore game, the all-star practice and the celebrity game.
Despite the perks, Wilson wants to make it clear to his team that they’re there to win a basketball game.
“Ultimately it’s a league game that we need to perform very well to keep our standing,” Wilson said.
“I’m hoping it’s just like any other game, because there’s a number of games that we play throughout the course of the year that have distractions associated with them.”
He added that a quick acclimatization will be necessary for success, as the team will be competing in a very large facility on a court they’ve never played on before.
Heading into next weekend’s game in Toronto, the Gaels’ 11-3 record is looking good, though they still have a game this upcoming weekend against Western.
The Gaels are going into next week having won both games this weekend. They beat the Guelph Gryphons 75-61 on Friday, and the Lakehead Thunderwolves 69-51 on Saturday.
Robyn Pearson dropped a double-double both nights picking up a total of 30 points and 25 rebounds, while Abby Dixon snagged 11 rebounds and a team high of 15 points in Saturday night’s contest against the Thunderwolves.
The Gaels came back hungry from the previous weekend’s pair of losses on the road. After taking the lead at the 2:44 mark in the first quarter, they did not relinquish this advantage for the rest of the game.
The first half in Saturday night’s game against the Thunderwolves was poorly coordinated on both sides, with several turnovers and missed passes.
“It is something we will talk about,” Wilson said.
The Gaels picked up in the second half and started to look more like their usual selves. They stretched the lead to the point where the Thunderwolves couldn’t possibly come back.
This game against Lakehead represented Shoot for the Cure, an event targeted to raise money for breast cancer research.
“It’s very important for our players,” Wilson said. “They are the ones who have taken a hold of this and one in particular, Andrea Priamo, has kind of led the way for us.”
Six of the Gaels cut their hair after the game to donate it for wigs for patients undergoing chemotherapy. The Gaels raised over $5,700 through the event.
“This is all the girls … and I’m really proud of them, that they’ve done something that they can really take a hold and run with,” Wilson said.
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