As the Mountaineers women’s basketball team heads toward the winter break and a full month between games, they looked to finish off 2016 at home as winners against Redeemer Tuesday night (Nov. 29) in Hamilton. Instead, Redeemer College looked to do something they had not done in over four years, beat their Hamiltonian rivals.
The Mountaineers struggled throughout the night to stop the Redeemer combo of Jessica Brown and Lindsay Moffat who combined for 52 of their team’s 72 points in the 72-68 victory. Moffat was also dangerous from three-point range, making five shots from beyond the arc.
As the game began the Mountaineers jumped out to a hot start thanks to some fiery first-quarter shooting from Shanien O’Neil who scored six of her 13 points on the night in the opening stanza. However, the second quarter felt different as the Royals, led by their season’s top scorer Jessica Brown, overtook the Mountaineers, outscoring them by 14 points. This put the Mountaineers behind at half-time for one of the few times this season.
Despite some terrific efforts from Jasmina Kucic who delivered eight points and 16 rebounds, and Stef Hrymak who scored a team-high 20 points, the Mountaineers still found themselves trailing by three entering the fourth quarter of play. This was in large part due to the stellar 3-2 zone defence being played almost to perfection by the Royals’.
In the final minutes of the game, some questionable decisions by the Mountaineers and even a few close calls from the referee seemed to erase any chance at a possible comeback. A potential Sam Pocrnic go-ahead three-pointer that would have put the Mountaineers ahead by a point with just eight seconds remaining was erased due to an offensive foul call on Hrymak.
Hrymak mentioned after the tough loss that a lack of quick rotations cost them on the night.
“There were a lot of turnovers in the first half because we just were not rotating on defence,” Hrymak said. “To get better from here we just need to focus more in practice and to play more as a team going forward in our next game.”
The Mountaineers will look forward to their final match of the 2016 portion of their schedule versus Humber College Wednesday, Dec. 7 against the defending OCAA champions. Tip-off is set for 6 p.m. as the Mountaineers will close out the first half of their season on the road.