WELLAND, Ont. - The Sheridan Bruins women's basketball team (14-4, 9-2 OCAA) overcame a sluggish start and will head into the exam break on a four-game winning streak after a 57-53 win over Niagara.
"We needed a gritty win like this, it gives us so many learning opportunities," head coach Sean Douglas said. "We got off to such a slow start but we eventually found our legs and this is a good result for us to build on after the break."
After back-to-back games where they scored at least 19 in each quarter, the Bruins scored just 18 first half points - by far their worst output of the season - and Niagara led by 12 at the break. The home side had built their advantage on a combination of cold Sheridan shooting - 8 of 35 from the floor, 1-8 from 3-point range, and 1-5 from the free throw line - and 15 first half turnovers.
Although they never did get things going from the perimeter, a renewed enthusiasm for attacking the rim saw them connect on 14 of 31 field goal attempts in the second half, while shoring up their ball security by nearly cutting their turnovers in half with eight over the final 20.
A 9-0 run over the first 1:47 over the fourth quarter pulled the Double Blue within one and they ultimately took the lead for good on a pair of Theresa Brown free throws with 6:40 to play. Oddly enough for a contest that was within two possessions either way for the more than nine minutes of the fourth quarter only had one tie and one lead change.
The team will now break for exams before returning to the court for a pair of games against Villa Maria in Buffalo on Dec. 19 and 20 and Douglas says he hasn't even begun to consider adjustments for the second half of the season.
"I don't even have anything in mind yet," he said. "The girls need to take care of business in the classroom and finish this semester strong, then we'll worry about building our second half prep."