Bobcats struggle through front half of schedule

Both the men’s and women’s BU Bocats basketball squads sit well below .500 through the first eight games of the 2018-2019 Canada West regular season.

Both the men’s and women’s Brandon University Bobcat squads have some work to do following a sluggish start to the 2018-2019 Canada West Universities Athletic Association regular season schedule.

The men’s team has just one win in eight games through the first month of play, while the women’s team is a touch better, putting forth a 2-6 start in Canada West action.

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Both teams dropped both games of a double header versus the University of Saskatchewan Huskies last weekend. The men lost 88-67 and 90-72, while the women struggled on each end of the court, falling 108-30 and 94-39.

“There’s been lots of learning,” said Bobcat Women’s head coach Novell Thomas. “That’s usually what happens at this time of the year, especially with so many new bodies and the departure of players who played a lot of minutes for us in previous seasons.”

The women’s team opened the season at home with a pair of losses to the University of Manitoba, falling 97-84 and 86-61. They followed that up with two road wins against UBC Okanagan, winning 82-59 and 82-78. The Bobcats then returned home, dropping two more games at home to the University of Regina, falling 103-55 and 90-50.

“Manitoba is a very good team who are going to make the playoffs, but it would have been nice to have played a little bit better against them. But that was our first games of the season,” said Thomas. “At UBC Okanagan, it was nice to get those two wins to give us some confidence and apply the things we’ve been working on in practice… And Regina is tough as usual, but we didn’t play as well as we should have.”

Lauren Anderson and Adrianna Proulx lead the team with 16.8 points per game, with junior Hailey Maas also averaging in the double digits with 10.8 per game.

“We need everyone to be a scoring threat, but so far Lauren and Adrianna have been our major scorers,” says Thomas. “And every week it’s going to get tougher for them to put up those numbers as team will have scouted us.

“And scoring hasn’t really been our issue. Defending hard has been an area we need to make improvements.”

The women’s team ends their pre-Christmas schedule with a home-and-home series against the University of Winnipeg Wesmen this Friday and Saturday.

“We want to get better defensively and improve each time we play a game or go out for a practice,” noted their coach.

The men’s team opened the season with a split at home against the University of Manitoba, falling 88-78 while winning a nail-biter 101-100. They followed that up with two losses at UBC Okanagan, losing 84-79 and 83-82. The Bobcats then returned home for a pair of setbacks against the University of Regina Cougars by scores of 100-82 and 97-82.

The top scorer on the Bobcats is also the top scorer in Canada West; the dynamic Tyvon Cooper, who is averaging 24.5 points per game. Three other seniors and one junior player are also averaging more than 10 points per game, led by Troy Grant who has put up 15 points per game.

Like the women’s team, the Bobcats men’s team will finish up the pre-Christmas schedule with a home-and-home roundabout against the University of Winnipeg. The men’s team is also slated to take part in the Université du Québec a Montreal holiday tournament, starting with a game against McGill on Dec. 29.

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