The Brock women’s basketball team (2-0 OUA) showed their dominance as the seventh ranked team in the country by beating the Ryerson Rams (0-2 OUA) 79-41 in their OUA regular season opener on November 1.
Heading into the season, the Badgers have high expectations and the only thing on their mind is winning a National Championship. After having a successful preseason and barely losing to the number four-ranked team in the country on Oct. 26, the Badgers look to be in full swing for their championship run.
“As a team every year, we set our goals on winning a National Championship. As a coach, if you don’t aspire and set goals to win a National Championship every year, then to me you’re not setting a winning mentality,” said Brock’s head coach Si Khounviseth.
Brock was a favourite to win the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) Championship last year, which would have sent them to the national tournament but they were upset by McMaster University in the semi-finals at home. That loss devastated the team but Khounviseth looks at that loss as an experience to learn from.
“I think this year we really believe this team is capable of winning. It has been a long process of building but so far with the experience last year we were that close,” added Khounviseth. “We should have been at nationals last year but we didn’t take care of business. That experience alone has taught us a lot of things”.
With the knowledge gained from last year, the season will be looked at as a disappointment if they are not at the national tournament. The Badgers have a great bench and can beat a team on either end of the court. With that being said, if Brock can execute their game plan every night, they should be one of the deadliest teams in Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS).
The first test of the OUA regular season was the Ryerson Rams, who were looking to upset the Badgers on opening night. After last years early exit, Brock has learned from undervaluing opponents and wants to play each team like it’s a championship game.
“We have to go out with that championship mentality. It doesn’t matter who we are playing, we need to go out and take care of our business,” noted Khounviseth.
The Badgers began the game in control as expected and started on an 8-0 run. The Rams were finding it hard to score baskets and the Badgers showed their stature early and often.
After one quarter of play, the Badgers led the game 17-11. To begin the second quarter, the Badgers continued their solid play starting the quarter on an 11-0 run.
The Badgers were very successful in establishing the lead early in the quarters, which turned out to be a very productive game plan. The second quarter showed how Brock was turning great defense into offense as they created many turnovers, which led to buckets.
Samantha De Jong (St. Catharines, Ont.) was a key player from Brock as she was an important piece to that 11-0 run. De Jong forced a turnover and ran down the court for the easy layup.
De Jong led all players in scoring as she scored 21 points on 8-for-13 shooting. She also added five rebounds in only 28 minutes of play.
After getting out to an 11-0 run, it took the Rams more than half of the quarter to get their first points. After finally scoring, the Rams began to compete with Brock and a big three-pointer by Keneca Pingue-Giles (Winnipeg, MB.) cut the deficit to 10 points.
Ryerson closed out the half on a 9-5 run and after two quarters of play, the score was 33-22 for Brock. Pingue-Giles’ seven points at half led the way for Ryerson.
After creeping back into the game to end the first half, the Rams were looking to continue this melody into the second half. The Badgers wanted nothing to do with a Ryerson comeback and proved their national acclaim in the third quarter.
The Badgers were relentless on the defensive side of the ball and were forcing turnover after turnover. Every turnover that Brock was getting resulted in a fast-break layup and consequently, the score began to spiral out of control.
Andrea Polischuk (Brantford, Ont.) and Kayla Santilli (Brantford, Ont.) led the way for Brock as they continued to create steals and execute on the fast break for layups.
Not only was Brock implementing great defense and quick offense but the Badgers also began to hit a couple three-pointers (which made the fans happy as bread is thrown into the crowd after every triple).
With the three-pointer, Brock was now on an insane 22-0 run to start the quarter and basically secured a victory before the fourth quarter had began. With only 30 seconds remaining in the quarter, Ryerson finally got their first points of the quarter as the Rams hit a three-pointer.
The Badgers ended up outscoring the Rams 27-3 in the quarter, which made the score a massive 60-25 for Brock. The fourth quarter presented more of the same from Brock as they were continuing to force turnovers and score baskets.
The Badgers outscored the Rams 19-16 in the fourth quarter and won the game 79-41 in impressive fashion. That third quarter of play by the Badgers proved to themselves and the rest of the country that the Badgers should be feared.
Four Brock players were in double-digits in points and Nicole Rosenkranz (Niagara Falls, Ont.) was the only player on either team to have a double-double as she scored 12 points and grabbed 10 rebounds.
The Badgers will look to keep their impressive start alive when they play their next home games on Nov. 15 and Nov. 16 against the University of Ottawa and Carleton University. Tip-off for both games is at 6:00 p.m. at the Bob Davis Gymnasium.