Badgers sweep Golden Hawks
Brooke Murdoch had 19 points and seven rebounds to lead the Brock women’s basketball team to a 65-60 victory Saturday over the visiting Laurier Golden Hawks. Photo by BERNIE PUCHALSKI
It wasn’t pretty but the Brock men’s basketball team improved to 2-0 in Ontario University Athletics play Saturday with an 80-70 triumph over the visiting Laurier Golden Hawks.
“It was really sloppy, but one of the signs that we are pretty good is that we didn’t shoot the ball well — we were 3-15 from the three — but we were able to get to the free-throw line 34 times,” Brock head coach Charles Kissi said. “That’s a good sign when you’re not shooting it well and you can compensate in other areas.”
Kissi felt his team did a lot of good things, including answering a few good runs by the Golden Hawks.
“We didn’t panic or fold,” he said. “We came back and figured it out. There’s a lot of positive things that will allow us to be successful in February and March.”
Leading the way for Brock were: Tyler Brown, 17 points and nine steals; Dani Elgadi, 15 points and nine rebounds; Johneil Simpson, 14 points and five boards; Cassidy Ryan, 13 points and six rebounds; and 7-foot-1 Donald Mims, eight points in 12 minutes on 4-5 shooting.
Top scorers for Laurier (0-1) were Ali Sow (14), Matthew Minutillo (13) and Kemel Archer (12).
Two games into the season, Kissi sees a need for his team to rebound the ball more effectively and communicate better on defence.
There’s plenty that he likes.
“I like that we are being aggressive and getting to the free-throw line, I like that we’re sharing the ball — we are averaging almost 20 assists per game which is very unusual for our team — and we just have to continue being consistent.”
Brock now heads out on a five-game road trip where it hopes to avoid last season’s struggles.
“We know it’s tough to win on the road and we know when we faltered last year it was on the road,” Kissi said, recalling losses to Ottawa, Carleton, Nipissing and Lakehead. “Good teams win on the road and this is a great opportunity to build that part of our journey to March.”
No team can be taken lightly.
“We know we’re one of the teams getting everybody’s best all the time, so we have to play well,” Kissi said.
BADGERS 65 GOLDEN HAWKS 60
Brock women’s basketball coach Ashley MacSporran went into Saturday’s game against the visiting Laurier Golden Hawks fearing the worst.
“I was worried about a hangover from Wednesday’s win,” MacSporran said.
The second-year coach need not have worried as her team pushed its OUA regular-season record to 2-0 following a 65-60 victory over visiting Laurier.
“They (Badgers) came out hard and hit first which is what we wanted,” she said. “It forced Laurier to play its zone because of our execution in our offensive sets and our ability to score inside.”
“We have yet to play much against a zone, but we managed to get good looks.”
Leading the way for Brock were its dynamic duo of Niagara College transfers.
“Brooke Murdoch was outstanding, going 5-9 from three (point line) and making huge plays,” MacSporran said of the Welland native. “She was also outstanding on defence, grabbing six boards.”
Murdoch finished with 19 points and seven rebounds.”
Fellow Welland native and Niagara College player Courtney McPherson had 14 points and 15 rebounds, and rookie Kristin Gallant contributed 13 points, six rebounds, six assists and three steals.
“She (Gallant) is so fast and gets up the court in a hurry,” MacSporran said. “She did an amazing job for us, stepping up with Ana (Caldeira Rua) in foul trouble. She is going to have an amazing season.”
Caldeira Rua finished with eight assists, six rebounds and five points, while Baelie Campbell and Stephanie Findlay each netted six points.
“It was another overall team win; we had 22 assists and we out-rebounded them 53-40,” MacSporran said. “We need to continue to focus on our turnovers, controlling our tempo and tone and finding joy in the game.
“We play well together as a group when we do that.”
Nicole Morrison and Irene Runkiewicz led the way for Laurier with 14 points apiece. Welland Jean Vanier alumnus Sarah Dillon had 11 points, four rebounds and three steals for Laurier.
Brock starts a five-game road trip with games Friday at York and Saturday at Queen’s.