Photo: Rémi Yuan.
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Soriano, Ring, Traer shine in two final road wins in Northern Ontario

The University of Ottawa women’s basketball team solidified their spot atop of the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) North division and secured a home court advantage for the upcoming playoffs with wins against Nipissing and Laurentian on Feb. 26 and 27.

These wins extend the Gees’ win streak to six games, and their final regular season record of 16-2 is the best in team history dating back 44 years. The Gee-Gees are currently ranked sixth in the nation, and will host a home playoff game, and with a win, could host the OUA Final Four.

The first game of the weekend, the women took on the Nippissing Lakers. A spirited performance by the Garnet and Grey ensured the Lakers wouldn’t pull off an upset as the Gees clinched a comfortable 83-59 win.

A tough full-court defensive effort and high shooting percentage was the key to Gees’ victory. Julia Soriano scored the team high for the night with 21 points, shooting seven of nine from three.

It has been a spectacular season for Soriano, whose electrifying and cerebral play has given her the opportunity to establish herself as one of the best point guards in the country.

Her teammates were also  hitting from behind the arc shooting 50 per cent, finishing with 11 on the night.

Veteran guard/forward Kellie Ring had another strong statistical night, posting 16 points, eight assists, six rebounds, and three steals.

The next night, the Gee-Gees faced the Laurentian Voyageurs in the final game of the regular season.

Despite previously blowing out the Voyageurs by 20 points back in November, the Gees had to fight in a relatively tight game, combatting Laurentian’s speed and athleticism.

The Voyageurs finished the game with an incredible 13 steals, putting immense defensive pressure on the Gees throughout the game.

With Ottawa’s main post threat in Katherine Lemoine ruled out for the game, it was to be a battle of guards and forwards. Catherine Traer proved to be the difference for the Gee-Gees, scoring all four of her shots from distance on the way to 16 points and seven rebounds.

Ring was also instrumental again for the Gees, recording a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds.

The victories secured a bye for the team in the first round of the OUA playoffs. They seem to be meshing as a unit but will need to maintain focus heading into these crucial games. Only an appearance in the OUA finals will be good enough to secure a berth in the National Championship tournament.

With this bye, the Gees will face the victor of Brock and Guelph on March 5 at 6 p.m. at Montpetit Hall.