A solid second half by the Brandon University Bobcats went for naught as a slow start cost them their Canada West women’s basketball game Friday night at the Healthy Living Centre.
For the first time since November, the Bobcats (0-11) outscored their opponents in each quarter of the second half but they couldn’t overcome a 23-point halftime deficit and fell 72-51 to the visiting Mount Royal University Cougars (3-8).
While BU head coach Novell Thomas would have liked to have seen a better start, he was pleased with the way his players battled back.
"We fought in the second half, which was good," Thomas said. "We made some lineup changes and were hitting some shots we weren’t hitting in the first half. When you’re hitting shots, everything’s a lot easier, but I thought we did a pretty good job of shooting in the second half. We shot with confidence and that’s what we’ve been preaching for the last little while here."
Carrera Lamoureux and Chantel Gaslard led the charge in the second half. Lamoureux finished the game with 13 points after managing just two in the first half. Gaslard contributed 12 points and 12 rebounds.
While the Bobcats were happy with their play in the second half, they admitted they have to come out of the gate with more energy and do a better job of hanging on to the ball. Brandon had 28 turnovers in the game, but gave the ball up nine times in the first six minutes as Mount Royal built a 17-6 advantage.
"We have to learn to be calm under pressure," Lamoureux said. "Playing basketball and playing under pressure is a totally different game, so when we play under pressure we have to remind ourselves: A, that we’re capable; and B, we’re a team. So we have one another’s backs and that has to get us through that pressure."
Meanwhile, the BU men’s basketball team fell 76-74 to Mount Royal last night as the Bobcats dropped to 2-9 in Canada West play. Ilarion Bonhomme led the Bobcats with 23 points, while Ali Mounir-Benabdelhak had a double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds.
Both BU basketball teams will host the University of Northern British Columbia Timberwolves tonight, with the women playing at 5 p.m, followed by the men’s game at 7 p.m.
Late Thursday night, the Bobcats men’s volleyball team fell 3-2 (26-24, 25-15, 19-25, 22-25, 15-11) to the host Trinity Western Spartans (11-2). Sam Tuivai led BU (9-4) with 16 kills, while Roy Ching chipped in with 12.
Both the Bobcats men’s and women’s volleyball teams will play the Spartans again today in Langley, B.C.
CAT SCRAPS: Bobcats G/F Kaela Cranston left the game midway through the third quarter with what Thomas believes is a badly sprained right ankle … The Bobcats will raise their men’s basketball national championship banners to the HLC rafters between today’s games. Jerry Hemmings, who coached all four of those teams, as well as Doug Carmichael, Murray McLeod and Dean Beaubier, will be on hand for the ceremony.