This past Wednesday, the Brock Badgers made their first visit of the year to the Mattamy Athletic Centre to face off against the always-tough Ryerson Rams. It was feted with the “Attack the MAC” road trip where bus-loads of Brock students were sent to support the team away from home.
Starting point guard Ana Sofia Rua was thankful for the supporters that came out to the women’s game thanking them on behalf of the team. Head coach Ashley MacSporran also commended the passionate Badger fans that came out on a school night to see the team in Toronto.
“I’m very grateful that Brock has the fan base that we do. There’s not a lot of fans that will come out on the road, especially on a Wednesday.”
The Badgers came out flat to start the game only scoring 25 points in the first half, with a dismal second quarter in which they shot 16 per cent from the field. Ryerson would pull away in the third quarter doubling up the Badgers 24-12 and taking a 25-point lead into the last frame and eventually winning 81-58.
It became evident what was the downfall for the Badgers in the third quarter. With the Rams playing high pressure man-to-man defence, the squad made some poor decisions with the ball, and Ryerson scored easily and quickly in transition. On the day, Brock had 29 turnovers to only 11 assists.
“What continues to be our biggest problem is our turnovers. They’re such a young team, and they’re just trying to figure out how to take care of the ball,” said head coach Ashley MacSporran.
It wasn’t all bad for the Badgers as Kristin Gallant and Shannon Northy both had strong games off the bench, scoring 23 and 10 points respectively. What is usually a strength for the Badgers was one of their weakest areas on the night. They were out-rebounded on the offensive glass, with hometown centre Courtney McPherson failing to reach double-digit rebounds for only the second time this season.
“Giving up 20 offensive rebounds is a big problem for me. Offensive rebounding is a hustle stat, so it’s really a big problem. Last weekend, we gave up 27 offensive rebounds to Queen’s (the only other game where McPherson had under 10 rebounds). We have to do a better job of taking care of that stuff.”
In the second game of the week against the University of Toronto, the Badgers lost 71-46. The Blues jumped out to an early lead outscoring Brock 23-12 in the first quarter. Stephanie Findlay led the team in scoring with 11 points while also chipping in seven rebounds. Kristin Gallant continued her strong run of play gathering 11 rebounds and nine points off the bench.
The Badgers have now lost four straight games on the road to York University, Queen’s University, Ryerson, and U of T, after winning the first two games of the season at home. They are giving up 56.5 points per game at home compared to 71.5 points away from home. They are also scoring 63.5 points per game at home compared to 47 points away from home. The difference is night and day.
“When we were at home, [the fans] helped us a lot. We got to fight through everything and use the fans when we can. I know the girls will continue to fight for our team and our university.”
The Brock Badgers play next against Nipissing University on Friday November 17 and against Laurentian University on Saturday November 18. Both games will be in the Bob Davis Gym.