Badger women stun Ravens
The Brock Badgers women’s basketball team greeted the ninth-ranked Carleton Ravens with its best game of the season Friday night.
Brock built a 21-10 first-quarter lead on the visiting Ravens and never looked back. The Badgers led 38-36 at the half and 55-53 after three quarters before emerging with a 73-65 victory to improve to 5-3 in Ontario University Athletics action. Carleton dropped to 6-2 with the loss.
“It was great. It was a good win today,” Brock head coach Mike Rao said. “Nothing spectacular, nothing different, the kids just wanted to play tonight. I had a very little to do with it and they just came out with a lot of firepower.”
Rao was hoping for the best but didn’t expect such a strong showing from his team that came in riding a three-game losing streak.
“The first quarter they showed the effort and we just tried to keep it going and I tried to stay out of the way. I didn’t want to make too many coaching mistakes and I didn’t make too many.”
The win marked a milestone for Rao and his rebuilding squad. He had hoped his team could hang around .500 by the Christmas break, and the victory ensured the Badgers of a winning record no matter what happens Saturday against unbeaten Ottawa.
“It’s good, especially this one,” he said. “The mission is accomplished but it is not finished. I know I say things but they change every week and every day. My idea is to keep this kind of enthusiasm going, get a few more people on-board and see if we can make some noise at the end of the year.”
Rao has seen progress through the first nine games of the regular season.
“It’s the mentality. They know that they can play at this level and they are coming together. I knew this was happening and I tried to push it a bit,” he said. “It took a step back and we just have to understand and work with each other a little better. It broke down a few times today but for the most part they played together.”
The ultimate goal for the team is to have seven, eight or nine players all playing together and knowing what each other is doing.
Rao would love to see Chloe Peters (back injury) and Kaley DeMont (knee injury) join the roster in the second half of the season but he’s not going to count on them until they are cleared to play.
“I don’t want to rush it and it is a bonus if it happens. They are hurt and it is not a good hurt,” he said. “Basketball is basketball but they have the rest of their lives to live. It’s not worth it and I am not going to put anybody in danger. I want them to be 100 per cent and I want to see it in practice first.”
Badgers 73 Ravens 65
Rachel Stempski Player of the Game: Brock’s Madalyn Weinert with 22 points, 14 rebounds, six assists and four blocked shots.
For the Brock Badgers: Weinert 22; Olivia Fiorucci 17; Theresa Brown 16; Noor Bazzi 13.
For the Carleton Ravens: Jacqueline Urban 15; Oceane Kounkou 15; Dorcas Buisa 12.
Game stats: Shooting percentage: Brock 38.7, Carleton 31.6. Free throws: Brock 19-24, Carleton 5-12. Rebounds: Brock 38, Carleton 44. Turnovers: Brock 12, Carleton 14.
Up next: Brock hosts sixth-ranked Ottawa (7-0) Sunday at 1 p.m.