The annual Jason Pearson Memorial Game was held this past Friday, as the Brock Badgers honoured the former varsity basketball and volleyball player who tragically passed away in 2001.
The Badgers came in looking for their first win of the season against the 2-0 McMaster Marauders, who had won their first two games by an average of 25 points. Brock came out of the gates slow, and found themselves trailing by 13 after the first quarter.
This was the second straight game in which the Badgers have entered the second quarter trailing by double digits, forcing them to once again dig out of an early hole. The deficit was 11 heading into halftime, but the lineup of Melissa Tatti, Baelie Campbell, Courtney McPherson, Kristin Gallant, and Meagan Charbonneau brought the Badgers within six points on two different occasions early in the third.
Just when a potential comeback was looking possible, a pair of McMaster threes brought the lead back to 12, and the Badgers would never come closer. “We stopped moving the ball, we stopped moving. Everything that we do is usually just moving the ball, pass, screen away, pass, screen away, and we stopped doing that,” assistant coach Cedric Kasongo said on the Badgers failed comeback efforts. “Our principles are moving the ball, screening away – it was working for us in the first and second quarter, and that’s what we’re gonna live by.”
The offense seemed to be struggling all night – something that isn’t new for the Badgers. It seemed like the shot clock was running down every possession, and Brock was working far too hard to get baskets. The Badgers finished shooting just 25 per cent from the floor, including 16.7 per cent from three. Brock put up 80 total shots, significantly more than Mac’s 67, but struggled to convert on said shots.
Brock has yet to shoot better than 27 per cent from three during a game, and sit second last in the OUA in three point percentage (18.6). The low percentages certainly isn’t stopping Brock from shooting them, as they have shot the sixth most threes per game in the league. Simply put, the outside shots have not been falling for Brock. If they can start knocking down their threes, they will be in a lot more games than they have been.
Making her Badger debut was first year wing Miia Sorra, who made a positive impact in the limited minutes she received. Sorra added four points on 2-2 shooting in just three minutes of action. Sorra, who also played on the women’s rugby team this season, showed her ability to clean up misses with a pair of offensive rebound putbacks. “Miia came in and gave us tough minutes, you know, she’s a fighter, she’s a tough player,” said Kasongo.
Melissa Tatti had another solid game, leading the Badgers with 15 points, to go along with seven rebounds. Courtney McPherson picked up three quick fouls in the first three minutes – and was held to just 21 minutes as a result – but finished with eight points and a season high 16 rebounds; 12 of them offensive. Kristin Gallant shot just 4-15, but managed to shoot 10 free throws and chipped in 14 points.
On the McMaster side of the boxscore, Linnaea Harper finished with 26 points and 10 rebounds to go along with three steals and a pair of threes. Harper now sits second in the league in rebounds, averaging 10.3 per game.
The Badgers will play their first two road games of the season this weekend on an eastern swing that sees the 1-1 Laurentian Voyageurs, followed by the Nippissing Lakers.