TORONTO, ON – The history of the rivalry between the Brock Badgers and TMU Bold doesn’t need a lot of explanation.
The Brock Badgers have met TMU in the Critelli Cup in back-to-back seasons. Sam Keltos scored 42 points in March of 2020 to give Brock the championship and send them on their way to silver at U SPORTS nationals just days before the world shut down. A COVID year went by then before Brock and TMU met in the 2021-22 Critelli Cup, and TMU pulled off a 22-point comeback in the last seven minutes of the fourth quarter to force overtime and win the Critelli Cup.
Now, the two programs meet again, but they’re on different paths this year. During the 2019-2020 season, a February 1st game at the Mattamy Athletic Centre gave TMU the higher seed in the division over Brock, which ultimately led to the two teams meeting in the championship at the MAC, and in 2021-22, they were in opposite divisions. Neither team lost a game until they finally met each other in the championship. Now, Brock fights for the ninth seed and TMU holds seventh, both clawing to get back to where they’ve been the last two seasons.
TMU, riding the leadership of veterans like Eve Uwayesu, Kaillie Hall, Rachel Farwell and Tiya Misir, started the season 0-4 before coming together and pulling off a run towards their now 13-7 record. Brock began 4-0 and has been pushing to find consistency in their now 11-9 record.
A massive part of Brock’s success this season has been their transition game, the play of guard Keren Kasonga, and the ever-present impact of Madalyn Weinert. Brock excels getting up and down the floor quickly; they try and find early entry into the paint and rely heavily on their guards’ play while the forwards set screens and seal for lanes.TMU creates their success off of their defence. One thing that’s clicked as they’ve improved throughout the year is their defence creating offence.
Being able to get stops and get their offence going off of it has been vital, and their execution is up to the high standard you’d expect in a Carly Clarke led team. Rachel Farwell has been the most consistent scorer for the Bold, doing her thing in the paint and sometimes spreading it out to the perimeter; the tandem of Farwell and Haley Fedick adds a lethal combo for Tiya and Eve to play off of. If they can force turnovers with their defence and get going the other way with a numbers advantage, they’re a lethal team with weapons to connect from everywhere.
As TMU and Brock fight to get back to their third Critelli Cup final, they have their paths to figure through and their obstacles to overcome, the first being each other. The Bold and Badgers meet back to back this weekend, with the Badgers hosting on the 17th at 6 pm and the Bold hosting the following night at the same time.