Here’s a look at the four quarterfinal matchups at the U Sports women’s basketball championship on Thursday:
No. 1 SASKATCHEWAN HUSKIES (21-2) vs. No. 8 CARLETON RAVENS (16-8)
The Huskies are coached by Canadian national women’s team coach Lisa Thomaidis, who guided team to runner-up finish at the U Sports championship last year in Toronto. Six-foot-two Huskies forward Summer Masikewich averaged nearly a double-double (17.4 points, 9.1 rebounds). Carleton, the host team, suffered five of its seven regular-season losses in 2020 and was eliminated by city rival Ottawa in OUA playoffs.
No. 2 BROCK BADGERS (20-5) vs. No. 7 CALGARY DINOS (19-3)
Brock, from St. Catharines, Ont., is looking for its first national title. Fifth-year Badgers guard Melissa Tatti was named OUA player of the year, averaging 18.5 points and 6.6 assists. Calgary got the tournament’s lone at-large bid after losing in the Canada West semis. The Dinos’ only losses were to fellow U Sports championship teams Saskatchewan and Alberta.
No. 3 RYERSON RAMS (20-5) vs. No. 6 UPEI PANTHERS (19-3)
The Rams hosted the U Sports championship last year before finishing runner-up in OUA this year. Rams head coach Carly Clarke was PEI’s bench boss for three years before taking the Ryerson job in 2012. The Panthers captured their first Atlantic conference title in 22 years this season. The Panthers’ Jenna Mae Ellsworth has been an Atlantic all-star four years in a row.
No. 4 LAVAL ROUGE ET OR (14-4) vs. No. 5 ALBERTA PANDAS (18-5)
Laval has captured two Quebec titles in a row following a seven-year drought. Laval star Khaleann Caron-Goudreau transferred from Texas of the NCAA. The Pandas are in the Final 8 for first time since a three-year run ended in 2016. Alberta upset host Calgary in the Canada West semis to earn a national berth.
Watch below: Some Global News videos about women’s basketball at the university level in Canada.