(WINDSOR, ON) – The Windsor Lancers women’s basketball team’s quest for a third-straight national championship begins this Friday evening at the St. Denis Centre, where the women welcome the Carleton Ravens to kick-off the 2012-13 regular season.
Coming into conference play, the Lancers are ranked the CIS No. 1 team in the country. After garnering the best record in the OUA’s regular season one year ago, the Lancers regrouped from a conference title loss to the Ottawa Gee-Gees by scorching through the competition at the CIS Final 8 in Calgary to claim their second-straight national banner with a 69-53 victory over the UBC Thunderbirds in the championship game.
Returning all-stars Miah-Marie Langlois, Jessica Clemençon and Bojana Kovacevic will make the Lancers a very difficult champion to dethrone this season. Langlois, a hometown native going into her fourth season, was named the CIS defensive player of the year in 2011-12. The guard picked up a phenomenal 77 steals (3.5 per game) over the course of the regular season, which was the best in the CIS. She was also fifth in the country with a formidable 2.4 assists to turnover ratio, and topped the season off with her second straight CIS championship MVP nod after leading her team to its second Bronze Baby Trophy in as many years.
Clemençon (St. Rambert, France), a first-team all-Canadian in 2011-12 and the former CIS most outstanding player, had a stellar season in her junior year, notching 17.6 points per game which ranked her third in the conference and seventh amongst the national scoring leaders. The fourth-year forward also recorded an average of 7.2 rebounds per game, and was ranked third in the country in field-goal percentage, shooting a solid 53.0% from the field. Going into Friday’s match, Clemençon is poised to become the Lancers all-time points leader, as she is just 10 points back from Dranadia Roc’s three-year career total of 1,129 points.
Kovacevic (Windsor), is entering her fifth and final season of post-secondary basketball. In 22 games last season, the veteran guard dropped 11.4 points per game for the Lancers while pulling down 5.8 boards, ranking her third amongst the team in both categories. Kovacevic was named to the CIS tournament all-star team along with Langlois last season en route to the national title.
In addition, third-year guard Korissa Williams will play an important role, as the Windsor native chipped in an important 8.7 points per game and 5.7 rebounds per game for the Lancers last season. Fifth-year senior Laura Mullins also added an average of 7.2 points per game in 13 minutes of court time per contest in 2011-12.
The strong returning core of the Lancers will be complimented by some serious local talent. Top Essex County product Kim Moroun was named a WECSSAA first-team all-star with Belle River H.S. while leading her squad to a AAA silver medal last season. She was named Belle River’s athlete of the year. Joining Moroun in the Lancers top local recruits is Tecumseh, Ont. native Andrea Kiss. The WECSSAA first-team all-star out of St. Anne’s H.S., where she was the team’s leading scorer, rebounder and captain, led the Saints to three straight SWOSSAA titles. In 2011, Kiss also captured a national championship with Team Ontario’s U17 team. Kingsville, Ont. native Caitlin Longmuir rounds out freshman class for the Lancers, which will only add further depth to Windsor’s arsenal.
The Lancers will have a stiff challenge coming out of the gate on Friday, as they host the No. 4 Ravens at the St. Denis Centre. Carleton was 17-5 in 2011-12, finishing second in the OUA East division, and will be looking for some vengeance after the Lancers eliminated them in the OUA Final Four semi-finals last year. Windsor has not dropped a conference match to Carleton since the 2006-07 season.
On Saturday, Windsor will be looking for some vengeance of their own as they take on the defending OUA champion Ottawa Gee-Gees who defeated the Lancers in the conference finals last season. The Gee-Gees also notched a victory in the regular season last year against Windsor in Ottawa.
Both matches are set to tip-off at approximately 6:00 p.m. Before the Lancers home opener on Friday, there will be a banner raising ceremony commemorating Windsor’s 2012 CIS championship victory. In addition, the women’s track and field team will be honoured by having their 2011-12 CIS banner raised at halftime.