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(Photo Credit: Adam Gagnon)
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PREVIEW: WBASK goes for OUA Bronze vs Ravens
WATERLOO, Ont. (March 7, 2014) - The Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks women's basketball team will look to punch their ticket to the CIS Championship on Saturday afternoon when they face the Carleton Ravens in the OUA Bronze Medal game in Ottawa.

Tipoff is set for 3 p.m. at the Ravens Nest. Tickets for the game can be purchased on the Carleton Ravens website. For those fans unable to attend the game, follow the Golden Hawks on Twitter, @WLUAthletics, for live updates throughout the contest.

Both Laurier and Carleton will be looking for redemption on Saturday as they try to rebound from difficult losses in their respective division finals. For the Hawks, they are coming off a tough matchup against the No. 1 Windsor Lancers after they lost the OUA West Final 86-58 on the road. The Lancers had three different players record 20 points in the win to stymie the Hawks as they looked for just their second-ever appearance in an OUA Championship game. Whitney Ellenor of Pickering, Ont., led the purple and gold with a strong effort that included 18 points, two rebounds and three steals.

As for the Ravens, they dropped an overtime decision to the Queen's Gaels in the OUA East Final, losing 62-58 in Kingston. The Ravens got a big game from Elizabeth Roach of Ottawa, as the fifth year guard had 27 points, but it wasn't enough to overcome the Gaels. Jenny Wright and Liz Boag, both of Kingston, Ont., paced Queen's to the win finishing with 18 and 15 points respectively.

Saturday's matchup will represent just the second time in the history of the two programs that the schools have met in the playoffs. The only other meeting between the Hawks and Ravens was back at the 2011 CIS Championship when the purple and gold edged Carleton 56-52 in the Consolation Semifinal. Laurier would go on to post their best-ever finish at the national championship, finishing fifth.

In the regular season, Laurier and Carleton have squared off 13 times since cross-over play began back in 2002. Since that time, the Hawks are 8-5 against the Ravens, including a 58-49 win in Ottawa back in November this season. Despite missing four regulars from their lineup that night, Laurier demonstrated their strong all-around game to knock off Carleton. Laura Doyle of Guelph, Ont., led the purple and gold in scoring with 16 points while Bree Chaput of Guelph, Ont., chipped in with eight points and nine rebounds.

For the Hawks to come out with a win on Saturday, they will need to look to their veteran core, highlighted by Doyle, the Hawks leading scorer in the regular season, along with Chaput, Ellenor and Lee Anna Osei of Toronto. All four players, who are currently in their fourth year of eligibility, will need to perform against what is a fairly young lineup for the Ravens, who feature just three players who are in their fourth or fifth year of eligibility. 

In particular, Laurier will need Doyle to have a similar performance against Carleton as she did in the regular season. The 5-7 guard has struggled in the playoffs to find her game, averaging only 5.7 points per game in three previous post-season contests, but if she can find her shooting stroke on Saturday, it could go a long way in helping the purple and gold post a win.

On the other side of the ball, Roach will be a key player that the Hawks will need to shutdown defensively. The OUA East Player of the Year is averaging 22 points per game in the playoffs so look for head coach PAUL FALCO to have Osei guarding her closely all afternoon.
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