Brock not a pressing problem
By Alan Russette
ST. CATHARINES In what has become a routine display, Western took its show on the road, this time to Brock University on Saturday and allowed their full-court press to dominate another women's basketball game this time resulting in an 81-60 victory over the Badgers.
From the opening tip-off the Badgers had a rough time making it out of their own end in the first half, turning the ball over 26 times. Western took advantage of Brock's giveaways with co-captain Jenn Haylor pouring 16 points to lead the team into half-time with a 55-29 lead.
Rather than run up the score and pad statistics, Mustang head coach Bob Delaney opted to reward his bench players for their hard work in practise by playing them for the majority of the second half, allowing rookie Tina Poldervaart to shine with 10 points and eight rebounds.
"When [the lead] gets up to 30 points, I don't think there's any point in beating a dead horse," he said. "I was very pleased with the way everybody played."
Delaney believes the game experience will be vital as the Mustangs approach the post-season and the team's starters are willing to sacrifice their personal statistics in pursuit of loftier team goals.
"The starters know that if they play really well, they're going to get a lead for the team and it's going to give the other kids an opportunity to play. That's what we try to do every game," said Delaney. "We're going to need everybody's experience down the road in the playoffs. You just can't go putting kids in cold at that time of the season when they haven't played."
Brock head coach Chris Critelli believed her team's inexperience was the key factor in the game's outcome. She said the Badgers were intimidated initially by Western's press, but that they made some positive progress in the second half.
"Well, we're young. We've got eight rookies and they haven't seen this kind of pressure. They adjusted much better in the second half. That's what happens with a young team," she said.
Mustang co-captain Nadia Pezzolo was pleased with the team's performance, but felt that the vaunted Mustang press was perhaps a little too effective against division teams, which may lead to problems down the road.
"We need to work on our offence a little bit more. Because our press is so effective on these teams, we're getting uncontested lay-ups sometimes and it's not giving us a chance to work on our offence," said Pezzolo. "We're really going to have to work on those things this week."
Pezzolo finished with 15 points and eight rebounds, while Jenn Haylor led all scorers with 20 points towards the winning cause.
The next stop on the Western schedule is the Thunderdome at Lakehead University for two games this weekend.