After facing the second best team in the country on Nov. 17, the Brock Badgers women’s basketball team took to Ottawa to play the fourth and sixth best teams in Canada – the Carleton Ravens and the Ottawa Gee-Gees, respectively.
First up was the Ravens, where the second and fourth quarters saw 20 minutes of competitive basketball, as the Ravens outscored Brock by just a point. However, it was the first and third quarters where the Badgers lost the game, as they were held to just four points in the first, and five in the third. The Ravens outscored Brock by 28 in those two quarters, putting the game out of reach from the get-go.
The final score saw the Ravens improve to 6-1 with a 72-43 win. Brock head coach Mike Rao spoke on his team’s offensive struggles: “We were very stagnant offensively; our offence is predicated on a couple things, one is ball movement, and the other is player movement. We did neither. In the first quarter, and a bit in the third, we got a little bit of weak-side action, we opened up a couple gaps, but we really for the most part didn’t fall into our gameplan.”
The Badgers shot just 29.6 per cent from the field against the Ravens, including 14.3 per cent from deep.
“We were – for whatever reason – a little shell shocked that [Carleton] is the number two, three, four, team in the country, but we faced Ryerson already and we did pretty well defensively [against Ryerson],” said Rao.
The defence against Carleton wasn’t much better, as the Ravens had six different players record eight or more points, with Rao attributing effort as a reason the Badgers struggled.
“We have to dedicate ourselves to put a little more effort defensively, I think everything runs off the defence, and I’ve said that before. Our defensive effort against Carleton was lacking a bit,” said Rao.
The Badgers were without the services of Courtney MacPherson and Jess Morris, and the absence of MacPherson – Brock’s top rebounder — was clearly evident, as the Badgers were outrebounded 45-17.
“We got beat up on the boards for the first time in a long time. We usually don’t give up a lot of second chances, but we did [against Carleton]. Now, we were missing two starters, but still, that’s not an excuse, we’ve still got to do better,” said Rao.
Perhaps the lone bright spot was the play of Melissa Tatti, who continues to put up All-Star numbers. Tatti is third in the OUA in scoring, and leads the league in steals with a whopping 5.9 per game. She scored more than half of the Badgers points against Carleton, finishing with 22 points to go along with four assists, four rebounds, and eight steals.
“Melissa played very very well, but she always does. The rest, you know we have to bring up our game to [Tatti’s] level,” said Rao.
Just down the road from the Ravens’ Nest was the home of the Ottawa Gee-Gees, where the Badgers were set to face the second best team in the OUA. The first quarter saw both teams struggle offensively, and the Badgers scored single digits in a quarter for the third time in the past five quarters.
The Gee-Gee offence would come to life in the second half, where they scored 28 points in the third and fourth to put the game way out of reach. The Gee-Gee trio of Améie Hachey, Angela Ribarich, and Brigitte Lefebvre-Okankwu almost outscored the entire Badgers team, with 50 points between the three.
In yet another tough offensive game for Brock, it was Elise Euale – who was inserted into the starting lineup as MacPherson and Morris remained out – who lead the way with 12 points in 27 minutes of action. Melissa Tatti added 10 points and nine assists, but struggled shooting the ball as she shot just 3-13 from the floor.
The Badgers return home this upcoming weekend for their final pair of games in 2018, where they’ll face the 6-2 Queen’s Gaels, and the 5-3 York Lions.