Headlining this year's tournament is a marquee match-up between the CIS defending champion Windsor Lancers and finalist Saskatchewan Huskies. The last time the two teams met was in Windsor, Ont. last March, where the Lancers captured the Bronze Baby Trophy with a 63-49 triumph over the Huskies.
The two former top squads in the nation will do battle in the first round of the Darcel Wright on Friday at 4:00 p.m.
Featured on the Lancers roster is 2011 BLG award winner Jessica Clemencon. The 6'3'' former CIS rookie of the year was named the top female university athlete in Canada after leading Windsor to its first-ever national championship.
The Huskies dominated the CIS awards last year, with Head Coach Lisa Thomaidis claiming her second-straight coach of the year recognition. Katie Miyazaki was the nation's defensive player of the year, while Canada West all-star and team captain Jill Humbert received the Sylvia Sweeney Award for excellence in basketball, academics and community involvement.
In total, there are four teams who were part of last year's CIS Final 8. Along with the Lancers and Huskies are the defending RSEQ champion Laval Rouge-Et-Or and the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks, who qualified for the Final 8 after winning the CIS Western Regional.
Rounding out the tournament are OUA representatives Western and McMaster along with the host Rams and the Calgary Dinos from Canada West. The Dinos will host the Final 8, March 16-18, 2012.
Ryerson is led by fifth-year guard Ashley MacDonald. The Port Colborne, Ont. native finished sixth in CIS scoring last year after averaging close to 17 points per game. MacDonald was named a first-team OUA all-star as well as the Ryerson Female Athlete of the Year last spring.
Former OUA all-rookies Angela Tilk (Welland, Ont.) and Kelsey Wright (Brampton, Ont.) are also players to watch on the Rams squad this weekend, as is rookie guard Chloe Mago (Scarborough, Ont.). The 2011 TDCAA all-star led Senator O'Connor to the 'AAA' OFSAA championships last year, averaging 19.4 points per game in the process.
The tournament kicks off at 12:00 p.m. on Friday with the Rouge-et-Or facing off against McMaster. The Rams will play their first game Friday evening at 8:00 p.m. against the Golden Hawks.
Darcel Wright Memorial Classic Schedule
Friday October 14th 2011
Game 1: McMaster v. Laval (2:00 p.m.)
Game 2: Saskatchewan v. Windsor (4:00 p.m.)
Game 3: Western v. Calgary (6:00 p.m.)
Game 4: Ryerson v. Laurier (8:00 p.m.)
Saturday October 15th 2011
Game 5: Loser Game 1 v. Loser Game 2 (1:00 p.m.)
Game 6: Loser Game 3 v. Loser Game 4 (3:00 p.m.)
Game 7: Winner Game 1 v. Winner Game 2 (5:30 p.m.)
Game 8: Winner Game 3 v. Winner Game 4 (7:30 p.m.)
Sunday October 16th 2011
Game 9: Loser Game 5 v. Loser Game 6 (10:00 a.m.) - 7/8 match
Game 10: Winner Game 5 vs. Winner Game 6 (12:00 p.m.) - 5/6 match
Game 11: Loser Game 7 v. Loser Game 8 (2:00 p.m.) - Third place match
Game 12: Winner Game 7 v. Winner Game 8 (4:00 p.m.) - Championship match