The York Lions will face the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds this afternoon in their opening game at the 2006 Canadian Interuniversity Sport league (CIS) Women’s Basketball Championship in Fredericton.
York, which enters the eight-team championship as the No. 7 seed, is making its first appearance at the nationals since dropping a 73-52 decision to Manitoba in the 1997 CIS Championship Final. York’s only previous participation prior to this year was in 1982, when the team went 0-2.
The Lions tied Brock for the best record in the Ontario University Athletics league (OUA) this year, posting a 19-3 mark in the regular season, but lost the conference final 58-47 to McMaster. Defense has been the key to the Lions success in 2005-2006. York allowed a CIS-low 49.7 points per game in 22 regular-season outings, keeping its opponents to 50 points or less on nine occasions, including five times under 40 points.
The Thunderbirds, who enter as the No. 2 seed, were 17-3 in Canada West conference play and 5-1 in the playoffs. UBC returns to Nationals after a one-year absence. The Thunderbirds won the 2003-2004 Championship with a 60-53 victory over Regina in the tournament final.
“UBC is a tough team and we don’t know a lot about them,” said York head coach Bill Pangos, the 2005-06 OUA East Coach of the Year. “We are going to focus on what we do well. We’ll pressure defensively and try to dictate the flow of the game.”
The Saskatchewan Huskies are the tournament’s No. 1 seed. Ranked third in the nation for most of the campaign, the Huskies posted their best-ever record in conference play (17-3), notched their first playoff win in 24 years, then swept second-ranked Simon Fraser and top-seeded UBC at the Canada West Final Four.
All CIS championship games will be Webcast at: events.news-cast.com for a charge of $7.95.
Seeding & Schedule (all times LOCAL: Atlantic Time)
1. Saskatchewan Huskies (Canada West champions/17-3 regular season, 4-1 playoffs)
2. UBC Thunderbirds (CW finalists/17-3 regular season, 5-1 playoffs)
3. Simon Fraser Clan (CW bronze medalists/19-1 regular season, 3-3 playoffs)
4. Cape Breton Capers (AUS champions/16-4 regular season, 2-0 playoffs)
5. Laval Rouge et Or (QSSF champions/14-2 regular season, 2-0 playoffs)
6. McMaster Marauders (OUA champions/17-5 regular season, 3-0 playoffs)
7. York Lions (OUA finalists/19-3 regular season, 2-1 playoffs)
8. UNB Varsity Reds (AUS semi-finalists & Host/12-8 regular season, 0-1 playoffs)
- Friday, March 10
13:00 Quarterfinal #1: No. 6 McMaster vs. No. 3 Simon Fraser
15:00 Quarterfinal #2: No. 7 York vs. No. 2 UBC
18:00 Quarterfinal #3: No. 8 UNB vs. No. 1 Saskatchewan
20:00 Quarterfinal #4: No. 5 Laval vs. No. 4 Cape Breton
- Saturday, March 11
13:00 Consolation #1
15:00 Consolation #2
18:00 Semifinal #1
20:00 Semifinal #2
- Sunday, March 12
15:00 5th place
17:00 Bronze medal
19:30 Championship final