Badgers crushed the Algoma Thunderbirds in front of a sold-out crowd at the Bob Davis Gymnasium
It was one of the most hyped Brock Badgers events in recent history on Friday Nov. 14, and it did not disappoint. After packing in over 1,500 fans for the homecoming RBC Steelblade Classic Men’s hockey game on Sept. 19, founding director of business development and partnership at Brock University, Robert Hilson, thought it would be great to pull off another exciting event for the Brock women’s and men’s basketball home opener. After working on the event for over three weeks, with red t-shirt give aways, two pairs of Leafs tickets giveaways, a chance to win $1,000 for three lucky fans, a light show, live band, cheerleading squad and an over-looking concession stand from above the gym, the event sold out. In fact, for the men’s game, fans lined up for over 1.5 hours just to get the final tickets into the gym. This was the first sell out at a Brock Basketball game since 1992, which housed approximately 1,000 screaming fans.
The women’s game began at 6:00 p.m. and was essentially over from the tip-off. The Badgers, who had dropped their first two games of the season against the Ottawa Gee-Gees and Carleton Ravens, were looking to pick up their first victory against the Algoma Thunderbirds. Going into this contest, the Thunderbirds had yet to win an OUA conference game in their CIS history (0-23). In the first quarter, the Badgers started the game on a 7-0 run, led by their fast break attack. The Badgers’ defence was flawless all night, forcing an astonishing 40 Thunderbird turnovers, as Brock led 26-6 after the first quarter. In the second quarter, it was senior guard Jenalyn Yumol who played big for the Badgers on both ends of the floor. She had seven steals in the game to go along with 16 points and six assists. In the second half the Badgers continued to dominate, this time from behind the arc, led by Dayna Howlett, who hit five three pointers (the Badgers took 41 three-point attempts in the game). The final score was Badgers 103, Thunderbirds 31. Other notables in this one for the Badgers were: Kate Harpur 13 points and seven rebounds, Kayla Santili with 12 points, five assists and four rebounds, and rookie Melissa Tatti with 14 points, six rebounds and four assists.
The men’s game was a lot closer through the first three quarters of play before the Badgers exploded in the fourth frame, out scoring the Thunderbirds 28-15 to win 97-68. Badgers’ Dani Elgadi (reigning OUA west rookie of the year), was not in the lineup, so Head Coach Charles Kissi rolled a full rotation and the Badgers came out and provided a 40 minute team effort. First-year Matt Marshall led the way for Brock with 24 points and 19 rebounds, and was honoured as the player of the game. Other key contributors for the Badgers were Johneil Simpson with 21 points, Zach Angelini with 13 points, seven rebounds and four assists, and rookie point guard Yusif Ali with 11 points. The Badgers as a team shot 48.6 per cent (34-70) from the field, but struggled from three-point range shooting just 22.7 per cent (5-22)
Both Badgers teams will be back in action on Nov. 19 at the Bob Davis Gymnasium when they host their arch rivals, the McMaster Marauders. The women’s game tips off at 6:00 p.m. and the men will follow at 8:00 p.m.