With the hardest portion of their schedule out of the way, the Brock women’s basketball control their playoff destiny. That destiny begins this upcoming weekend when they travel to Algoma, to take on the 1-11 Thunderbirds, but it doesn’t stop there.
The Badgers 4-8 record through 12 games has them sitting two points out of the final OUA west playoff spot. Following the two games against Algoma, which are must win games for Brock, the Badgers will have the opportunity to move into that playoff spot.
Guelph Gryphons, with a 5-7 record, currently occupy the eighth and final spot and the Gryphons and Badgers are set to meet twice in January. Splitting the two games does the Badgers no help, but if they can sweep the Gryphons, there’s a high chance the Badgers lock themselves into a playoff spot.
The Gryphons still have a game left versus the 9-3 Windsor Lancers, a game versus the 8-4 McMaster Marauders and two remaining games versus the 7-5 Western Mustangs.
Whereas for the Badgers, they have to play the Lancers twice, Lakehead twice and the Mustangs once. The difference is that the Badgers have already picked up a victory versus the Mustangs, meaning the 4-8 record may not define who this team is.
Six of the Badgers eight losses have come on the road. Their two home losses came against a undefeated Carleton team and a 7-5 Ottawa team that has now won four in a row. Their other six losses have come against an 11-1 Queen’s, an 8-4 Ryerson, a 6-6 York, a 4-8 Toronto and two losses to a strong Marauders team.
Head coach Ashley MacSporran and her team would probably wish they could have a redo against York, a game they lost by nine and should have won. They could’ve put up a better performance against Toronto, in which they lost by 25, but it came on the back end of a four-game road trip. The losses to York and Toronto was part of a growing period for a Badger team that has added a lot of new faces.
Inexperience and team chemistry shouldn’t be an issue moving forward. This team through 12 games should know each players attributes and have an idea what works and what doesn’t. The Badgers will need to win twice against Algoma and twice against another 1-11 team in Waterloo.
More importantly, they will need a full team effort. This past weekend versus McMaster, the Badgers had four points after one quarter and after three, only four players had scored a basket — only three points off the bench.
Defensively, the Badgers get it done. They rank 12th in the league holding opponents to 64.3 points per game, fifth in opponent’s field goal percentage and third in rebounds. What isn’t cutting it, is their league worst 25 turnovers per game and fourth worst points per game at 54.4.
The Badgers are also the only team to not have 40 three pointers made, sitting at 31.
Even with all these poor offensive numbers, they have the 12th best scorer in the league in Kristin Gallant. How the Badgers get their offense to improve is up to the coaches, but it might just be the case of practicing threes for a majority of practice.
The season has hit its halfway point, with 12-games remaining, but we’ll know over the next five games if the Badgers playoff hopes still remain open. The opportunity is there for the taking, but it is up to this young Badgers team to show they have grown over the course of this season to grab that opportunity.