With a month left in the OUA regular season, the two Brock basketball teams and two hockey programs are vying for a playoff position as they hit the road this past weekend.
After starting the new year with a 80-75 loss against Western, the Badgers were able to bounce back with a pair of wins against the Laurier Golden Hawks and the Waterloo Warriors. The Laurier win was significant as the Badgers now hold the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Hawks, as they swept the season series 2-0.
Both Brock and Laurier are currently tied for second in the OUA West, so having the tiebreaker over a division rival could be huge come playoffs. The trio of Johneil Simpson, Cassidy Ryan and Daniel Cayer each poured in 20-plus points, combining for 70 of the teams’ 92. Brock managed to hold Laurier’s Ali Sow to just 11 points, well under his 25.1 average, which ranks second in the OUA.
Simpson was once again electric against Waterloo, tying his career-high of 33 points on 12 of 22 shooting, including seven of 11 from three. The now 9-5 Badgers will play two more road games against Guelph and Windsor on Jan. 16 and Jan. 19, before returning home at the end of the month.
The Badgers remain perfect in the new year, having won the first three games of their five game road trip. With a 59-53 win over Laurier, and a convincing 63-47 win over Waterloo, the Badgers were able to give themselves some much needed separation in the OUA West. Brock now sits at an even 7-7, three games ahead of the clump of four 4-10 teams that will be fighting for the final two playoff spots.
Courtney MacPherson led the way with 12 points and 15 rebounds — including 10 offensive rebounds — to go along with Kristin Gallant’s 16 points and five rebounds, and Melissa Tatti’s 13 points and seven rebounds to secure the win against Laurier.
Miranda Smith set a new career high for the second time in four games with 19 points, including five threes against Waterloo, breaking her previous high of 17 that came against York in December. Tatti added 11 points, eight rebounds, and six assists to help Brock win their fourth in a row.
The Badgers will look to complete their perfect road trip against Guelph and Windsor this week before finally returning home at the end of the month.
The Badgers men’s hockey team split a back-to-back against the University of Toronto Varsity Blues and the Waterloo Warriors, but remain atop the OUA West with a 15-5-1 record. The 2-1 win over Toronto saw goals from Ryan Burton and Ayden MacDonald, while Logan Thompson stopped 27 of 28 shots to pick up his league leading 14th win of the season.
The loss against Waterloo was a fairly surprising one, as the Warriors possess a 7-10-5 record, however the Badgers still picked up a point, as they dropped a 3-2 game in overtime. Connor Brown and Adam Berg each recorded a goal and an assist, while goaltenders Mario Cavaliere was charged with the OT loss.
Jack Scanlan’s fifth of the year came a minute into the extra frame, and propelled the Warriors to their seventh win of the season.
The Badgers return to St. Catharines this weekend where they will once again play the Varsity Blues on Jan. 19 at the Seymour-Hannah Centre.
The women’s team managed to win their lone game of the weekend; a 1-0 victory over Laurier. Annie Berg’s ninth goal of the season was all goaltender Jensen Murphy needed, as she picked up her league leading eighth win of the season in style, recording 39 saves for her second shutout of the season. Murphy’s 513 saves leads the OUA, as she has over 100 more saves than the next highest total.
The win propels Brock to 28 points, good enough to be tied with Waterloo for fifth in the OUA. The Badgers will face Waterloo Warriors on the road on Jan. 19, with the winner taking sole place of fifth in the league.