OUA women's basketball Final Four primer

The stakes will be high at the OUA women's basketball Final Four

The stakes will be high at the OUA women’s basketball Final Four.

Queen’s joins three other schools in Windsor this weekend, with hopes of reaching the CIS tournament for the second straight season.

The winners of Friday’s semi-final games will move on to Saturday’s final and earn a spot at nationals. Ranked seventh in the OUA, the Gaels are the lowest seed left in the title race, and will face three of the league’s top five teams.

1. Windsor Lancers:

Windsor is a dynasty in OUA women’s basketball. They’ve captured the last four CIS championships and have snagged the provincial title in five of the past six years.

They’re looking to punch their ticket to nationals once again – and this time, they’ll be playing at home.

Fifth-year guard Korissa Williams is one of the province’s best all-around players, ranking second in points, assists and steals per game and sitting among the top 20 in rebounds per game. She was also named OUA Defensive Player of the Year.

3. Ryerson Rams:

The Rams boast an impressive slate of victories coming into the post-season, having beaten the Gaels twice and the second-ranked Laurier Golden Hawks on the road.

They possess the OUA’s second-most potent offence, averaging 72.8 points per game. They’re no slouch on the defensive end, either, as leading scorer Keneca Pingue-Giles also contributes 3.3 steals per game.

With a spot in the CIS tournament on the line, the Gaels will need to shut her down in tonight’s game.

5. Lakehead Thunderwolves:

No player in the province is more dominant than Thunderwolves fifth-year guard Jylisa Williams.

The reigning OUA Player of the Year was held under 20 points just twice in 19 games this season and torched the Toronto Varsity Blues for an OUA-record 50 points on Feb. 7. No other Lakehead player averaged 10 points this year, but Williams is more than enough of an offensive threat.

When Queen’s and the Thunderwolves met on Nov. 7, the Atlanta native dropped 42 points to lead her team to an 82-76 victory.

7. Queen’s Gaels

The Gaels head into the Final Four as an underdog, though that’s not exactly a fair label.

They were plagued by injuries for most of the season, including a concussion that limited former All-Star Gemma Bullard to just nine games.

Guards Liz Boag and Jenny Wright will be crucial to Queen’s success at the Final Four. Both averaged over 13 points per game in the regular season.

Breakout guard Emily Hazlett has given the Gaels’ another scoring boost, putting up 9.6 points per game in her third year on the squad.

OUA women's basketball Final Four schedule

5. Lakehead Thunderwolves vs. 1. Windsor Lancers: Friday, March 6, 6 p.m. (St. Denis Centre, Windsor)

7. Queen’s Gaels vs. 3. Ryerson Rams: Friday, March 6, 8 p.m. (St. Denis Centre, Windsor)

OUA final (semi-final winners): Saturday, March 7, 6 p.m. (St. Denis Centre, Windsor)

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