Memorial University’s women’s basketball team will look for an early Christmas present this weekend when the Sea-Hawks host the Saint Mary’s Huskies in Atlantic Universities Sport (AUS) competition.
MUn head coach Doug Partridge said a sweep before the Christmas break would be great, “but as the early schedule has shown, sweeping teams in this league isn’t easy, even at home.
“UNB continues to be a top 10 team (ranked No. 6 in the country), and they couldn’t sweep us, so we will see what we can do,” said Partridge.
MUN (2-2) takes on SMU (3-2) 6 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. Sunday at the Field House. SMU puts its record over .500 on Tuesday night with a 77-75 win over the Dalhousie Tigers.
“If we did get two, or if SMU gets two, it would be huge for either team, really a leg up on the rest of the league,” Partridge said.
The Huskies are not to be taken lightly, said the MUN mentor.
“They (SMU) have a solid post game with (former Sea-Hawk) Maegan Seaward and Suzanne Canvin (a transfer from UPEI),” said Partridge. “They also have the best scorer in the league in Justine Colley and they have two good shooters on the wing with (Robbi) Daley and (Rebecca) Nuttall.”
However, he noted the Huskies are a, “little thin” and haven't gotten a lot of production from their bench.
Seaward, a fifth-year Commerce student from Deer Lake who transfered from MUN, has a 9.2 points-per-game average while averaging 25.2 minutes per game.
Fourth-year wing Robyn O'Rielly won’t be available to the Sea-Hawks this weekend. That’s because of the same injury which kept her out of two games against UNB Varsity Reds.
“Robyn played the first two games with what we found out was a broken finger which needs to heal,” explained Partridge.
According to Partridge, that more from means his team will need more from rookie Kelia Pond.
Pond had 13 points in a game against UNB, which the MUN coach termed, “a flash of her potential.”
“Kelia worked extremely hard in the last two to three weeks to improve her technique and defensive ability,” said Partridge.
“She is a very capable player and athlete and as her defense improves, she will continue to get more responsibility and playing time.”
SMU coach Scott Munro is anticipating a very competitive two-game series.
“We know the games at Memorial are always tough and they seem to be playing good basketball at present,” said Munro.
“We expect the games to be very tough and obviously eight points on the line so early is quite a bit. We will have to defend and rebound the basketball very well in order to have a chance at all this weekend.”