It was a tough night on and off the court for the Brandon University Bobcats women’s basketball team on Friday night.
On the court, the Bobcats suffered a 86-48 loss to the Saskatchewan Huskies (9-6) at the Healthy Living Centre; off the court, the team was officially eliminated from the playoffs and remains winless in the Canada West conference at 0-15.
"We had a horrible start," Bobcats head coach Novell Thomas said. "Down 13 at the half is nothing, but then we had another horrible start to the third (quarter) and that was it."
At times, the Bobcats looked like they could play with the third-place Huskies, demonstrating solid perimeter ball movement on offence and strong team defence. At other times, the Bobcats looked out of place, with poor shot selection and far to often being broken down defensively off the dribble.
While the result wasn’t what the Bobcats wanted, there were positives.
Carrera Lamoureux, in her first year since transferring from Winnipeg’s Canadian Mennonite University in the Manitoba Colleges Athletic Association, showed glimpses of brilliance on offence against the Huskies, using a devastating stop-and-go move from the wing to drive baseline and hit a floater in the first quarter. Lamoureux, who came into the contest tied as the team’s scoring leader averaging 7.3 points per game, consistently demonstrated a willingness to take — and hit — open looks en route to a team-leading 15 points.
"We put a lot on her," Thomas said about his 5-foot-8 guard, "but I think she can handle it and we’ve seen baby steps with her and in time I think she’ll be a very good point guard for us."
Jaynell Gillett and Elsa Langill each had seven points for the Bobcats, while 6-foot-2 forward Dalyce Emmerson led the Huskies attack with 21.
Thomas, in his first year coaching in Brandon, has worn several hats for the Bobcats this year.
"For me, it never came down to whether we won or lost, but it was more about playing our best and competing for 40 minutes," Thomas said. "As a coach, it isn’t just about X’s and O’s, they’re people first and that’s what you care about first ... Sometimes you are playing psychologist and you’re always trying to find the way to get the most out of them."