Jaynell Gillett of the Brandon University Bobcats looks to score with the jump shot during a game against the University of Saskatchewan Huskies at the BU Healthy Living Centre on Saturday. (BRUCE BUMSTEAD/BRANDON SUN)
The Brandon University Bobcats finally got the good start to a game that women’s basketball coach Novell Thomas has been looking for all season on Saturday night. But they still need to figure out how to finish a game.
The Bobcats grabbed an early lead and kept Saturday’s contest at the Healthy Living Centre versus the Saskatchewan Huskies close through the first half, but things spiraled out of control in the second.
Brandon (0-16) managed just two points in the third quarter and fell 60-34 to Saskatchewan (10-6).
Thomas was encouraged by the start, but was very disappointed with the finish.
"I don’t know if we let off or ran out of gas," he said.
"If you’re there in the first quarter, there’s no reason you can’t be there neck and neck in the fourth quarter. It just takes commitment level and passion and desire to fight through bad calls, to fight through missed shots and rebounds and turnovers. That’s how you win, and you have to fight through those tough moments."
Chantel Gaslard led the Bobcats with 10 points — all of which came in the first half — and 11 rebounds. Jaynell Gillett added eight points and six rebounds for BU.
Dalyce Emmerson led Saskatchewan with 20 points and 10 rebounds.
Although things didn’t end the way Thomas wanted, he was happy that Brandon turned the ball over only 18 times, the fewest amount this season, and created more turnovers than they allowed.
The last time that happened was on Jan. 12, 2012, when the visiting Winnipeg Wesmen beat the Bobcats 63-47.
The Bobcats may also have a slightly different look to them for the rest of the season as Thomas has started playing his bench players a little bit more.
"We always had three or four or five players close to 30 minutes a game and that’s too much to do," he said.
"We’re not fit enough to do that and play high-quality basketball. We’ll get our bench players in there and they’re expected to come in there and give us a spark and help us out wherever we may need help, be it with scoring or taking care of the ball or whatever it is."
Brandon continues its season on Friday at Lethbridge (8-8).
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition January 28, 2013