Photo By: Jonah Dayton

The Badgers’ women’s basketball team returned home to the Bob Davis Gym on Saturday afternoon where they took on the Windsor Lancers, beating them by a score of 86-63 to improve to 5-0 on the season. 

Brock was led by Ivana Twumasi, who finished with 25 points, six assists, four steals, and zero turnovers off an incredibly efficient 7-12 shooting with a perfect 9-9 night from the free throw line. Sam Keltos almost had a five-by-five, finishing with 13 points, 12 rebounds, four assists, three steals, and five blocks. Madalyn Weinert added 14-6-4, Mackenzie Robinson had 11-9-4, and Jenneke Pilling tacked on 10 points and five assists.

Despite what the final score says, it was actually a very close game in the first half with Brock heading into the halftime break down by two. For the first time all season, the Badgers trailed at the half.

The Lancers were able to cling to a 34-32 lead largely thanks to the shooting of Noor Bazzi, who came off the bench to shoot 4-5 from deep to lead all scorers with 12 at the break. Aside from Bazzi, however, the Lancers weren’t doing all that much damage offensively as the rest of the team combined to shoot just 8-31 in the half. The second half was a far different story, as Brock locked in on Bazzi and held her scoreless the rest of the way.

“We really keyed in on her,” said Keltos. “Listening to [head coach Mike Rao] and just observing what’s happening on the court — like she’s hitting shots, we got to stop her because no one else is really doing anything. Obviously she was hitting stuff and we were like, ‘alright, no more’. The people that were on her did a great job [in the second half]. Every time she got a shot off, I was like ‘good defence, but you need to keep that hand in her face’ and we did it, we shut her down. I don’t think she hit another shot after.”

Another huge difference between halves one and two for the Badgers was their transition offence — especially in the third quarter. Brock had a season-high 28 assists in the game, 18 of which came in the second half. Their previous game-high was 19.

“[Windsor] was taking liberties with us — applying a lot of pressure — and we weren’t taking opportunities in the first half,” said Rao. “We had a lot of advantages downcourt and we just didn’t use them. Then in the second half we came out and the ball just went ‘bang, bang, bang’. You saw very few dribbles and once we got it past their first line of defence, we just went layup, layup, layup and that was it.”

Keltos called it the Badgers’ best team win of the season.

“We just weren’t being selfish,” she said. “We were passing the ball and passing it when we were open, we weren’t holding the ball and waiting. There was one play where I swung it to Ivy [Twumasi], it came from the corner, all the way back to the right-hand corner, back to me inside, it was a layup. I was like, ‘whoa who are we?’, like we’re finally meshing. That game was our best team game, we had a good team win a couple games ago and this one was even better. We’re just going to keep using that momentum and keep getting better.”

At the heart of the Badgers’ third quarter push was Twumasi, whose ability to not only get to the free throw line, but to do so while finishing through contact and then making her free throws was a huge part of the Badgers’ success. She currently leads the OUA in free throw percentage at 93 per cent.

“Ivy, oh my gosh, the moves that she can get into the key and finish like that, the and-one’s, and then she makes her free throws, she’s going to be really big for us this year,” said Keltos.

Last weekend it was Mackenzie Robinson who led the way for the Badgers; this week, it was Twumasi. Both guards are experienced, steady players who have made for a terrific backcourt.

“It’s great having those two, I think it’s real good,” said Rao. “They take some pressure off Sam and they’re a pleasure to coach and a pleasure to be with. It’s really good.”

The Badgers jumped up a spot in the latest edition of the U Sports Top 10 and now sit as the No. 6 team in the country. Ottawa is the only OUA team ranked higher. Brock will welcome in the 3-1 Guelph Gryphons tomorrow night in what is the Badgers’ final home game of 2021.

To get tickets for tomorrow night’s game, click here. Tickets are free for students provided they are fully vaccinated and have completed Brock’s COVID-19 symptom screening the day of. The women’s team tips off at 6:00 p.m., followed by the men’s team at 8:00 p.m.