Basketball Lions take on NCAA visitors this weekend

The York Lions basketball teams begin their 2006-2007 pre-season schedules at the Tait MacKenzie Centre this weekend against three US teams: Ohio’s Dayton University Flyers; Nashville, Tennesee’s Lipscomb University Bisons; and Omaha, Nebraska’s Creighton University Bluejays, all members of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).

Right: Lions guard Rohan Steen (photo by Andrew Craig)

The first game is scheduled for Saturday, 2pm, as the men’s team hosts Dayton in the main gym. The Flyers finished last season with a 14-17 record in the tough Atlantic 10 Conference. Dayton returns with four starters from a year ago, including the team’s top three scorers.

On Sunday, the women tip-off against Creighton at 6pm. The Bluejays advanced to the quarterfinal at the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament last season and finished with an 8-21 record.

Following the women’s game, the men face Lipscomb at 8pm. The Bisons finished the 2005-2006 season with a 21-11 record, qualifying for the National Invitation Tournament. Early season predictions have the Bisons qualifying for the 2007 NCAA tournament.

Last year, the York men’s Lions finished the regular season with a 14-8 record. After stringing together three straight victories in the post-season, the Lions captured the Ontario University Athletics’ East Division over the Carleton Ravens, who later went on to claim the Canadian Interuniversity Sport Championship for a fourth consecutive year. At the national championship, the Lions fell by a single point, 75-74, to the Saskatchewan Huskies in their opening round game.

York’s women’s Lions finished with a 19-3 record in the 2005-2006 regular season, tops in the OUA East Division. As OUA finalists, the Lions entered the CIS Championship as the No. 7 seed and knocked off the No. 1-ranked Saskatchewan Huskies in the consolation final.

Ticket prices for all three games are $8 for adults and $5 for all students and seniors. Children 12 and under are free. For information on tickets and directions to Tait McKenzie Centre, visit the Sport York Web site.