This past weekend, Brock’s women’s and men’s basketball hosted Lakehead for their final two home games of the season. The women’s team came into the game with nothing to play for after being mathematically eliminated from the playoffs. However, with nothing on the line, they came out against Lakehead looking like a team of the future. First-year guard, Kristin Gallant led the charge for her team, leading the team in scoring in both games, scoring 19 and 14 points, respectively.
On Friday, with the Badgers leading by five points with just under five minutes left, Gallant would exit with a calf sprain and it shifted momentum. Lakehead’s Leashja Grant led the Thunderwolves back into the game with her game-high 27 points. For majority of the game, Brock’s Courtney Mcpherson locked down defensively on Grant but it wasn’t enough down the stretch.
Brock would fall to Lakehead 63-59 – the big difference being the second quarter, in which Brock was held to nine points.
“It’s not a blown lead,” said head coach Ashley MacSporran. “We just didn’t get defensive stops.”
The following night, Brock would again keep it close, but Lakehead would pull away with a 67-59 victory. Grant continued to be unstoppable as the leading OUA scorer and rebounder would score 21 points and grabbed 17 rebounds.
On the men’s side, the two-win Thunderwolves gave the Badgers a scare in the first game. Lakehead was able to keep it close and almost pulled off the biggest upset of the season in U Sports.
The Badgers were sloppy on the defensive end, at times allowing Lakehead to score on open shots. With just over a minute left, the game was tied 85-85, after the Badgers had a double-digit lead at halftime.
“People get satisfied because we have one nice dunk and we’re up 19,” said Kissi. “We got to play four quarters in this league, whether they have two wins or not. Everyone in this league is good enough to beat you if you don’t perform. We had certain guys not perform. I was frustrated with our performance from beginning to end. Even when we were scoring and winning, we weren’t playing well. This showed you tonight we can’t rest. We have to play right through the end and focus on finishing strong.”
The Badgers would pull through for a 91-87 victory and were much more prepared in Saturday’s game winning 89-62. The Badgers picked up their 20th win of the season, a new record for the program which had never won 20 conference games in a single season.
Saturday was also fifth-year forward Dani Elgadi’s final regular season home game with Brock. Elgadi has been the face of the program and Kissi’s first recruit when the head coach took over the program.
The two Brock basketball teams will conclude their regular season next weekend, when they travel to play Western on Wednesday and Windsor on Saturday. The women have a win over Western this season and the men will need to play much better as the their opponents are currently second and third in the OUA west division.
Following the regular season, the men will receive a first round bye before hosting a home playoff game on February 24. They’ll play host to whoever wins the playoff game between the fourth and fifth seed.