The Badgers are for real. After beating No. 6 Ryerson on opening night, head coach Mike Rao’s team defeated the reigning OUA and national champion McMaster Marauders last week. After almost upsetting Mac in last year’s OUA semifinals, the Badgers were able to exact some revenge on the team that eliminated them a season ago.
“It was a good win given the history,” said Rao after the win against McMaster. “It was a great effort by everybody on the team. We played everybody and we played well.”
Melissa Tatti once again led the way with 19 points, eight rebounds and five assists, while Kristin Gallant added 17 points, seven rebounds and five steals. The Badgers trailed by nine heading into the half — largely thanks to a 14-point quarter from McMaster’s rookie guard Jenna Button — but dominated the second half en route to a 75-61 win.
“I think Kristin Gallant had a lot to do with [the comeback],” said Rao. “Once she picked it up we hit a couple threes, we had some confidence and we started rolling from there.”
The Badgers did however lose a key player late in the second quarter, when starting forward Sam Keltos went down with a leg injury and did not return. Rao said the injury was related to her calf and was unsure whether she would play in their next game in Toronto.
Ultimately, Keltos did not play in the Badgers’ first road game of the season, but Brock was still able to handily beat the Blues by a score of 78-59; they once again outscored their opponent by over 20 points in the second half. Through the first three games of the season, Brock has now outscored opponents 128-71 in second halves.
Tatti scored a season-high 23 points off 8-14 shooting while dishing out seven assists, while second-year wing Meagan Charbonneau — who started in place of the injured Keltos — added 20 points off 5-10 shooting (including 3-6 from deep).
The 3-0 start marks the first time the Badgers have done so since their 5-0 start back in 2015-16.
The Badgers are not nationally ranked as of now, but are well on their way to doing so with the way they are playing. Defeating two stellar programs like Ryerson and McMaster (both by double digits, no less) should garner some votes come the next set of rankings. It would be a tremendous achievement for a program that has not seen a banner raised since 1983.
The Badgers return home to the Bob Davis Gym for a back-to-back this Friday and Saturday night against the 2-0 Guelph Gryphons and the 0-3 Algoma Thunderbirds. Tip-off is set for 6:00 p.m.