The Niagara Knights women's basketball program (9-7, 6th OCAA West) will head to Toronto on Thursday night to take on the Humber Hawks (14-2, 2nd OCAA West) at 6pm before travelling to take on the University of Toronto Mississauga Eagles (5-13, 9th OCAA West) at 1pm on Saturday.
With four games remaining on the season heading into Thursday's matchup, the Knights have already clinched an OCAA qualifying playoff berth but will look to climb the rankings in order to host a game. With the possibility of finishing with 13 wins if they sweep their remainder of their opponents, the Knights are looking to pass the St. Clair Saints (10 wins/three games remaining) and the Lambton Lions (11 wins/one game remaining) in the standings to earn home court advantage.
Bridget Atkinson (Welland) currently leads the Knights with 18.1 points per game which puts her third amongst all OCAA players. She also ranks 7th in the OCAA with 3.9 assists per game and second with 4.4 steals per game.
Looking at how the teams rank up against one another, the Knights are currently averaging 60.2 points per game and 62.1 points against. The Hawks, the OCAA West's second-best offence, averages 74.6 points per game and shuts down offences with ease, allowing just 54.6 points per game. The UTM Eagles, who have just two games remaining on the season, have averaged 52.3 points per game and 68.3 points against.
The Knights will have to face a trio of scorers against the Hawks as Leticia Lopez (14.6), Jahnae Gyles (14.1) and Miea Campbell-Johnson (14.0) all average double-digit points per game. Makeba Taylor, the Hawks rookie guard, averages 5.2 assists per game which is second in the OCAA.
The Eagles are led by Jade Addai who is scoring at an impressive rate of 16.8 points per game. Forward Jiana Alnajjar ranks third in the OCAA with 12.8 rebounds per game.
Niagara will look to keep up their strong offence of late as they have averaged 70.4 points per game over their last five matches. They are 4-1 in that time. Guard Hannah Baker (Thorold), who is averaging 11.9 points per game, scored a season high 21 points last time the Knights faced UTM in a 62-50 win back on November 8th.
All time, the Knights are just 9-34 against Humber all time but are 3-0 vs UTM, as they currently compete in their second season in the OCAA.