After a couple of easy games against the Algoma Thunderbirds, the Badgers were in for a test against two of the top teams in the OUA West. The first being against the first place McMaster Marauders — who had already beat Brock back in November — looked to extend their lead in the standings, as second place Lakehead sits just one game back.
The Marauders led by just four at halftime, but a poor third quarter from the Badgers saw the lead grow to 14 heading into the fourth. The Badgers put up a good fight in the fourth, but ultimately fell 74-57. This has become a pattern for the Badgers, as they have struggled with playing four complete quarters of basketball this season.
Baelie Campbell had by far her best game of the season, scoring a season-high 23 points off an efficient seven-of-nine shooting, including five-of-six from three-point range and four-of-four from the free throw line. Campbell also added seven rebounds and four assists. Melissa Tatti scored 15 points to go along with six rebounds and six assists.
Outside of Campbell and Tatti, virtually every other Badger struggled offensively. The other three starters — Kristin Gallant, Miranda Smith and Courtney McPherson — combined to shoot just five-of-32 for 14 points. The bench totaled just five points.
McMaster showed why they are the best rebounding team in the OUA West, as they out-rebounded the Badgers 63-36, including 25-4 on the offensive glass.
The Badgers would look to move back to .500 against the third place Windsor Lancers, a team that had just beaten the Badgers two weeks prior. The Badgers found themselves in a tight one early on, as they led by two at the half after forcing Windsor into 14 first-half turnovers.
Unlike the game at Mac, however, the Badgers came out hot in the third. A pair of threes from Campbell and Meagan Charbonneau pushed the lead to four, and a McPherson and-one extended it to nine. The Badgers went on a 13-2 run, and held a 10-point lead heading into the fourth.
Just like the third quarter against Mac, the Badgers were once again unable to play a complete 40 minutes. This game looked quite similar to the loss at Guelph on January 16, when Brock led by double digits heading into the fourth and gave up a lead to their opponent. The Badgers first basket didn’t come until Miranda Smith hit a three five minutes in. Prior to that, the Lancers went on a 12-0 run.
At the end of regulation, the score read 61-61, and overtime would be required to determine a winner. The extra frame was just a continuation of the fourth, as the Lancers took advantage of the fact that both Gallant and Jessica Morris fouled out, and were able to complete the comeback for their sixth straight win, taking the game 71-66. The Lancers outscored the Badgers 29-14 in the last 15 minutes of play.
“We got to try and finish out games. That’s our problem, we’ve got to finish games out,” said Brock head coach Mike Rao.
In addition to this the Badgers offensive struggles were a sticking point for the coach.
“We didn’t get it inside enough, I think that was our problem,” said Rao.
He also added that the Badgers were intentionally using the entirety of the shot clock in overtime, something that led to a number of tough shots that ultimately didn’t drop.
Lancers centre Olivia Osamusali was a big reason why Windsor was able to win. At 6’4, she towered over the undersized Badgers — even with McPherson doing everything she could to stop Osamusali, at the end of the day, she still stood six inches shorter. The two each put up matching 14 points and 14 rebound double-doubles, but Osamusali — who leads the OUA in blocks — swatted five Badger shots on the night. Osamusali drew double teams and a number of fouls, something that would pay dividends as the Lancers wound up in the bonus with still five minutes left in the fourth.
While the Badgers will almost certainly end up in the postseason, they will have done so solely off of their wins against bad teams. While it’s imperative to take care of business against lesser opponents, the Badgers have yet to beat a team that’s over .500. All nine wins have come against sub-.500 teams. Brock now sits at 9-11, but are 0-8 against teams with winning records.
The Badgers have two more chances to beat a good team before the playoffs, both against the 15-4 Lakehead Thunderwolves. Before that, however, they’ll be home against the 5-14 Waterloo Warriors on Wednesday, before facing the 5-14 Waterloo Warriors for Seniors’ night on Feb. 9.