Brock’s Murdoch plays at home for last time
Welland native Brooke Murdoch completed the home portion of her post-secondary basketball career Saturday night against the visiting Lakehead Thunderwolves.
After the game ended in a 67-59 victory for Lakehead, the Jean Vanier product was presented with framed action pictures of herself and flowers. She was delighted to share the moment with her parents, Gail and Rob, who came out on the floor to be with their daughter during the presentation.
“It was a lot of time and a lot of support and my mom grew up playing basketball,” the 5-foot-7 guard said. “I’m sure she was thrilled to have a daughter who grew up to love the sport as well.
“It has been pretty cool to have her throughout my journey.”
Gail played at Eastdale in high school and then, like her daughter, moved on to play at Niagara College.
In addition to her parents, Murdoch shared the moment Saturday with other major influences in her basketball career.
“I actually saw a lot of my former coaches and my coach from Jean Vanier, Tara (Poulin), was here,” she said. “Just being able to look up in the crowd and see familiar faces was great. She has followed me throughout my career.”
Poulin, a former Badger herself, was given credit by Murdoch Saturday.
“She helped develop me into the player I am today,” she said. “I owe a lot to her for what she did at the start of my career.”
Murdoch was able to avoid any tears on the night.
“I’m sure it is going to hit me later on, but I knew my mom was going to get upset,” she said. “She got a little teary eyed when they called my name up.”
And while the kinesiology student’s Brock hoops career is done, she is hoping to stick around and help Brock next season.
“At the end of my interview with Brock TV, they asked me what I see for this program and knowing these girls are so young and they have so much time for development, they can get in the gym in the summertime and grow as players and young women.
“They are going to be a really, really good team and they have a lot of years to work together.”
Murdoch would like to contribute to that development.
“If I can help and work alongside with them, that would mean the world to me,” she said. “If I can’t be on the court with them, at least I will be able to help them off the court.”
Brock head coach Ashley MacSporran has loved having Murdoch on her team even if was just for one year.
“Brooke’s maturity, her game IQ and the way she plays has been great.” she said.
Because of injuries, Murdoch had to play a number of positions and found a home playing down low in the team’s 3-2 zone.
“She’s vocal and physical and she has been outstanding,” MacSporran said.
She will be more than happy to have Murdoch help out with the program next season.
“I will keep someone like her around,” she said. “She is an amazing young lady.”
Brock fell to 6-16 with the loss while Lakehead improved to 14-8.
“If we could hit some shots that would help,” MacSporran said. “It took a while for us to get some shots to fall and we got some great looks.
“We changed our offence a little bit from last night and finally got it rolling.”
MacSporran was happy her team had only had 15 turnovers but the Badgers were hurt by a lack of defensive rebounding.
“We gave up 20 offensive boards and that’s uncharacteristic when we need to get stops and they are getting three possessions at a time.”
Already eliminated from playoff contention before the Lakehead series, Brock’s women continue to play hard.
“I was really happy with our effort this weekend,” MacSporran said.”They fought like the dickins against one of the best players in the country (Leashja Grant).”
MacSporran wants her. team to continue to move forward as a program every day.
“Hopefully we can end on a note that we want to end on instead of teams rolling over on us because we’ve quit because we are not in anything,” she said. “They are playing really hard right now.”
Thunderwolves 67 Badgers 59
BPSN Star of the Game: Lakehead’s Leasja Grant with 21 points and 17 rebounds.
For the Brock Badgers: Miranda Smith 14; Kristin Gallant 14; Courtney McPherson 11; Ana Caldeira Rua 8.
For the Lakehead Thunderwolves: Grant 21; Jerika Baldin 14; Bridget O’Reilly 14.
Game stats: Field goal percentage: Brock 33.3, LU 37.5. Free throws: Brock 11-16, LU 14-20. Rebounds: Brock 37 , LU 48. Turnovers: Brock 15, LU 18. Scoring by quarters: Brock 9-17-10-23=59, LU 15-17-13-22=67.
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