The Niagara Knights women's basketball program (5-5, 6th OCAA West) will host the Sheridan Bruins on Thursday night to conclude the first half of their regular season. Coming off a loss against the Fanshawe Falcons last Friday, the Knights will look to get back into the win column and improve their record back over .500 heading into the holiday break.
The Sheridan Bruins enter into the contest with the Knights having won three games in a row as they are bolstering an impressive 8-2 record and sit in third place in the OCAA West. The Bruins only two losses of the year have come against the OCAA's top dogs; the Fanshawe Falcons and the Humber Hawks.
Much of the Bruins' success has come thanks to a high caliber offence that scores an average of 73.6 points per game, trailing only the Falcons and the St. Clair Saints in the OCAA West in the points per game category. The Bruins defense has also been solid so far through the first half of the season, limiting their opponents to just 56.0 points per game.
The Knights have the upper-hand in the all-time matchup category between the two OCAA foes. Since 1975, Niagara and Sheridan have squared off 40 times, with the Knights earning victories in 22 of those games. At home, the Knights are 13-7 in games against the Bruins.
The Knights will need to focus on spreading the basketball around against the Bruins. So far in their five wins on the season, the Knights have had at least two players with double-digit points. In each of their five losses, only one or less players have reached double-digits.
Guard Hannah Baker (Thorold) will be back in the starting line-up on Thursday night after she missed the last three games with an injury. Baker's scoring ability will give the Knights offence a tremendous boost. In her last appearance, a win over the Saints, Baker hit a game-winning three-point shot with seven seconds left on the clock to give the Knights a 77-76 victory. So far on the season, she is averaging 11.9 points, 4.3 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game.
The Knights and the Bruins matchup will begin at 6pm at the Welland Campus Athletic Centre on Thursday night. The first-half finale will be broadcast live and can be watched online here.