It was another successful night in downtown St. Catharines. For the first time since the inaugural ‘Paint the Meridian Red’ game in 2015, the Badgers’ women’s basketball team was able to pick up the win this past Saturday.
Prior to the game a moment of silence was held for the tragic plane crash in Iran which killed 57 Canadian passengers, eight of whom were from the visiting University of Toronto.
After starting the new year with a loss to the York Lions, the No. 8 Badgers were able to bounce back with a 84-69 win over the Toronto Varsity Blues. Jessica Morris led the way with 20 points, Melissa Tatti added 18 points, 10 assists, five rebounds and four steals, Kristin Gallant finished with 13 points and seven boards and Sam Keltos added 10 and six.
For Tatti, who has played in four career Meridian games, getting a win in her final year of eligibility was very important to her.
“It was huge, I’ve only won one other [Meridian game] in my first year, so just winning in front of your crowd, in front of your community, in this big gym, in this huge environment is just such an honour. You always want to get the win, so it was really nice,” said Tatti.
Unfortunately for the Badgers, second-year wing Meagan Charbonneau collided with Toronto’s Samantha Robertson in what was an ugly knee-on-knee crash that shook up both players. Robertson, while in some discomfort, was able to stay in the game, while Charbonneau, who took the worst of the hit, left the floor with a left knee injury and did not return.
While the Badgers ended up winning handily, the Blues came out hot, starting the game on a 10-0 run before the Badgers finally scored their first basket halfway through the quarter.
“We just stayed calm,” said Tatti. “We knew what we could do, knew what we had to do, so we basically just collected ourselves, stayed calm and as soon as we had the first two on the board we knew it was game over.”
The Badgers led 38-25 at the half, which cleared the floor for the U9 Pelham Panthers girls’ basketball team to take to the floor in what was an incredibly wholesome halftime break.
The Badgers improved to 10-2, and currently sit in a tie with Ryerson for first in the OUA Central. The back half of the season sees Brock play six straight games at home, before they finish the season with five straight road games, one of which includes a date with the aforementioned Rams, which very well might determine the outcome of the division.
This Badgers team is undoubtedly one of, if not the best team the program has seen in the past decade. The team has their sights on Ottawa, host of the 2020 U Sports Championship. The confidence surrounding the team is at an all-time high and rightfully so.
“I think we can go really far [in the playoffs], I think we can make it to Nationals,” said Tatti. “Once we play together like we did tonight, once we hit our shots like we did tonight — and like we didn’t against York — we’re unstoppable. We have an inside-outside game and it’s beautiful.”
The Badgers return back to the Bob Davis Gym this Wednesday, where they’ll take on the 12-2 Western Mustangs, before the 11-1 Windsor Lancers come to town on Saturday in the annual ‘Shoot for the Cure’ game.