Brock women knock off national champs
Kristen Gallant was trying hard not to look too overjoyed Wednesday as she dribbled the ball and watched the clock run down on the Brock women’s basketball team’s 75-61 victory over the defending national champion McMaster Marauders.
“I don’t want to say I can’t believe it because I can, because we have worked so hard,” the third-year guard said. “We have such a new team this year and half our team is first year and they’re coming to play.”
Losing a close game to McMaster in last year’s playoffs was on Gallant’s mind Wednesday.
“We want to get revenge for last year because I feel we could have gone much further and we didn’t.”
Brock is now 2-0 to start the season after beating Ryerson Rams for the first time in six years last Saturday night.
“It’s all the new faces, but I am in third year, (Missy) Tatti is fifth year and Jess (Morris) and Sam (Keltos) are in fourth year so we have an older team than we are used to,” Gallant said. “I think we have experience and that is really showing this year.”
Gallant’s numbers dropped last season from her rookie year when she was named to the Ontario University Athletics All-Rookie Team and all-star team, but her sophomore season was spent getting used to new head coach Mike Rao. He has been a big influence on her career.
“Rao has been on me all summer and I have worked so hard this summer,” the 20-year-old said. “I’m happy that he did that because my game is coming full circle right now.
“I feel like I am more of a versatile player and I want to be more of a playmaker this year and not just score.”
Gallant did it all in the win over McMaster, finishing with 17 points, seven rebounds, five steals and four assists.
“She kept us in the game the whole first half and if it wasn’t for Kristen we were out of this game early,” Rao said. “But she just kept fighting and fighting and left it all out on the floor.”
The same could be said for her teammates.
“They played hard and with a lot of effort,” Rao said. “We have people injured and others stepped up.”
Sam Keltos was injured in the first hand and didn’t play the second. Helping to fill the void in her absence were Eden Ferraro, Mary Ivison, Nicole Venhuizen and Meagan Charbonneau to name a few.
A.N. Myer product Tori Rigas-Domenico made her first appearance in Niagara as an OUA player. The McMaster guard went scoreless in 13 minutes but dished out a pair of assists.
Badgers 75 Marauders 61
BPSN Player of the Game: Brock’s Kristen Gallant with 17 points, seven rebounds, five steals and four assists.
For the Brock Badgers: Missy Tatti 19; Gallant 17; Jess Morris 9; Sam Keltos 7; Nicole Venhuizen 7.
For the McMaster Marauders: Jenna Button 19; Olivia Watson 17; Christina Buttenham 10.
Games stats: Field goal percentage: Brock 36.1, Mac 32.8. Free throws: Brock 16-21, Mac 9-13. Rebounds: Brock 46, Mac 36. Turnovers: Brock 17, Mac 22.