The game on the (foul) line
Published: Monday, January 30, 2012
Updated: Thursday, July 5, 2012 15:07
It was a slow start but a dramatic finish on Jan. 25 as the Brock University Women's Basketball (11-6 OUA) team lost 69-68 to the Wilfred Laurier University Golden Hawks (11-5 OUA) at the Bob Davis Gymnasium.
Overall the game was won and lost from the charity stripe, both literally on the game's final shots as well as emblematically throughout the match. By the end of the first half, Laurier led 31-24, largely aided by making 13 of 14 free throw attempts, whereas Brock shot a Shaquille O'Neal-esque 4-10.
It would be a different story in the second half, but the Badgers shooting and defensive coverage at times were cause for concern as the half came to a close. Overall the Badgers shot 30 per cent (9-30) from the field, including only 2-9 from three point land. Brock scoring was led by transfer students Nicole Rosenkranz (Niagara Falls, ON) and Sarah Mallen (Fonthill, ON), formerly of the McMaster Marauders and Western Mustangs, with 11 and six points respectively.
The Badgers slowly clawed their way back in the third quarter. Andrea Polischuk (Brantford, ON) started the run to equalize the game by making one of two free throws, followed by a lefty layup on the following possession. Emily McKay (Toronto, ON) then drew two consecutive Hawk fouls, going 4-4 from the line. A Kayla Santilli (Brantford, ON) jump shot from the elbow on the quarter's last possession capped off a 23-16 quarter for the Badgers to tie the game 47-47.
The final frame was a toe-to-toe affair as the Badgers and Hawks exchanged points and saw several lead changes. Laurier went up 65-60 with a 1:15 remaining. Following Laurier forward Christa Mancino's (Port Colborne, ON) fouling out, Rosenkranz made both free throws to trail by three. Brock successfully pressed to steal the ball, and Jessica Del Signore (Brantford, ON) would be fouled, but missed both corresponding free throws. On the ensuing Laurier possession, McKay fouled Felicia Mazerolle (Elliot Lake, ON), who split her foul shots to restore a four point lead.
With 30.6 seconds remaining, Polischuk made a layup following a Brock timeout to draw within two points. After McKay brought the deficit down to one point, Laurier travelled to give the Badgers their opening. Polischuk made another layup to take the lead by one with six seconds remaining. Mazerolle, however, would draw a crucial foul call with 0.6 seconds left to head to line. She would sink both, and the Badgers with them, for the 69-68 victory.
Rosenkranz led the Badgers with 18 points and eight rebounds, followed by Samantha deJong (St. Catharines, ON) off the bench with 11. Polischuk and Del Signore added nine points each. Brock shot 39.3 per cent from the floor, but only 55.6 per cent from the free throw line. Comparatively, the Hawks only had a 41.7 field goal percentage, but went 25-31 (80.6 per cent) from the charity stripe. Mazerolle led all scorers with 22 points, while reservist Shelby Kurt (Waterloo, ON) added 16.
The Badgers would be hit with another loss on the road Jan. 28, falling 66-62 to the Guelph Gryphons (7-9 OUA). Rosenkranz recorded a double double with 18 points and 13 rebounds while deJong chipped in 16 points and eight boards. The Badgers sit in second place in the OUA West with 22 points.
The Badgers' next home games will be a back-to-back series with the Lakehead Thunderwolves Feb. 10-11. Both games will take place at 6:00 p.m. at the Bob Davis Gymnasium.