It was a memorable weekend for the Badgers women’s basketball team, as they picked up another pair of wins against both extremes of the OUA; the winless, 0-16 Ontario Tech Ridgebacks on Friday, before a start-to-finish win against the No. 6 Queen’s Gaels on Saturday.
The game against the Ridgebacks saw an opportunity for the Badgers reserves to play heavy minutes, as head coach Mike Rao was able to rest his starters for the following night’s matchup. The Badgers had all 12 players get on the scoreboard, led by Sam Keltos’ 18 points off 8-11 shooting in just 21 minutes. Melissa Tatti recorded 11 points and 10 assists as the Badgers completed the 78-50 win. Brock shot over 50 percent from three and recorded 22 assists in the game.
“It was better ball movement,” said Rao. “We shot the ball okay, I thought it was better.”
While the Badgers took care of business against the Ridgebacks, it was the following night which was one to remember.
Heading into the game against Queen’s, the Gaels ranked sixth in the country largely thanks to a huge team that can shoot the three.
“They’re tough,” said Rao, speaking about the Gaels. “We’ve got to be physical inside and we have to keep them off the boards.”
Melissa Tatti had a half for the ages, scoring 22 points off 6-9 three-point shooting in just 20 minutes to give Brock an eight point lead at the break. It was an incredible display of offensive firepower, showing once again why Tatti is one of the premier players in the OUA. Off the dribble, off the catch, stepbacks, you name it, Tatti hit it.
She finished with a career-high 30 points off 10-19 shooting. She also dished out six assists. Sam Keltos added 23 points of her own to go along with eight rebounds.
“[Sam] shot the ball well,” said Rao. “She’s moving, she’s on track defensively, she’s playing well as of late.”
The Badgers top two players combined for 53 points while holding the No. 6 team in the country to just 64.
“It’s just nice to finally have a big to pick and pop with,” said Tatti on playing alongside Keltos. “I haven’t had that for four years. We play really well together and I’m so thankful to play with Sam.”
Sofia Croce added 11 points and seven rebounds, while Jessica Morris hauled down 11. Kristin Gallant grabbed 10 of her own as the Badgers won the rebound battle 51-38 against a much bigger and longer team.
The win pushes Brock to 13-3, surpassing their total of 11 from a season ago. The Badgers still remain tied with Ryerson for top of the division.
“It’s really nice because we had Western — who we took a hard loss to — so we just had to come back and really come together as a team,” said Tatti. “We started to work the ball around and move offensively a little bit better and came out and got the win.”
The Badgers will play their final regular season home game of the season this Wednesday against the York Lions for Seniors’ Night, where the Badgers will honour Melissa Tatti and her incredible career.