Eric Dowdall- Staff Writer
Despite a strong start, the Brock women’s basketball team (7-5 OUA) kicked off the second half of the school year with a 72-56 loss to the McMaster Marauders (8-4 OUA) on a January 8 home game at the Bob Davis Gymnasium.
The Marauders win was backed by strong performances from two fifth-year players in Hailey Milligan (Brantford, Ont.) and Vanessa Bonomo (Dundas, Ont.). Milligan scored a game high 29 points to go along with 11 rebounds, while Bonomo finished just one point and two assists shy of a triple-double.
The Badgers struggled mightily from the field, shooting 33 per cent overall for the game, including just 13 per cent from three-point range. Nicole Rosenkranz (Niagara Falls, Ont.), the single Badger in double figures of the night, provided the lone bright spot as she scored 17 points to surpass the 1000-point barrier on her Brock career.
The Badgers came out firing to begin the game, jumping out to an early 16-5 lead on the heels of some solid outside shooting including three-pointers from Kayla Santilli (Brantford, Ont.) and Jenalyn Yumol (London, Ont.).
McMaster would answer quickly, going on a 10-3 run to close the gap, but some early scoring from Rosenkranz kept Brock out front. Rosenkranz and Santilli ended up combining for 13 in the quarter as Brock led 21-19 after one quarter of play.
The teams exchanged leads for much of the second quarter, with the up-tempo play keeping the fans very much into the game. Despite some strong offense, the Badgers had no answer for the inside-outside game of Bonomo and Milligan, as the duo torched Brock throughout the quarter. A buzzer beater for Bonomo broke a 33-33 tie, giving the Marauders a three-point lead at half.
McMaster took over the game in the third, as Milligan began to dominate play. Led by a strong post game, she scored 10 in the quarter including the first four to give McMaster a lead of seven early. Rosenkranz and Santilli attempted to keep it close, however they had no answer for McMaster’s dynamic duo. A three-pointer from Bonomo stretched the lead to 12, their largest of the game to this point, and they would lead 54-44 at the end of the third quarter.
The fourth quarter brought much of the same, as Brock was continuing to struggle from the field throughout. Bonomo and Milligan would make them pay, accounting for much of the Marauder offense and getting the lead to 19 as Brock called a time out. A brief 4-0 run closed the gap to 15, however that would be as close as the Badgers would get on the night.
It was a disappointing night for the Badgers, as they were let down by their outside shooting and inability to stop Milligan in the paint. Despite the poor effort, the Badgers showed great promise early on displaying why they are still competing for a playoff spot down the stretch of the season.
Brock returns home on Jan. 15 v.s. McMaster. Tip-off is at 6:00 p.m.