The seven year itch is over for the Redeemer University College Lady Royals women’s basketball team. After compiling a dubious record of 0-87 in Ontario Colleges Athletic Association play, the Royals stopped the losing streak with a 75-45 celebration against the Sault College Cougars on Saturday (Oct. 27).
The team answered the question of whether or not the Royals would win a game this season. And they came within two points of starting the season 2-0 after dropping a 47-46 loss to Algoma University the night before.
In the win, Redeemer Rookie Jesseca Brown (Grand Manan, NB) had a game high 29 points for the Royals. Victoria Pickering (Campbellville, ON) had 17 points while Morrisa Lychak (Nepean) added 16. Danielle White and Keisha Giroux had a team high 11 points each for Sault College.
Brown also had 26 points in the loss to Algoma on Friday.
During the Royals losing run, Redeemer recorded a few wins in exhibition and tournament play but couldn’t get into the win column dating back to Feb. 10, 2006 against St. Clair College. The score was 67-56. Cross town rival Mohawk College began the Royals losing streak a week later.
Fleming College in Peterborough also lived through a lengthy losing streak that began in 2005. They were riding a 74-game losing streak dating back to 2005 but broke the string on Oct.28th, 2009 when they defeated Centennial College, 57-43.
For Redeemer, its program is moving toward the direction of the coaching staff of Rob Hooper and Greg Best. The team has brought in a number of recruits over the summer, has worked hard to successfully bring in a number of key sponsorships, and has added an exhibition trip out East to kick off the 2012-13 season.
“We see a great opportunity for improvement in women’s basketball within the OCAA,” said athletic director Dave Mantel. “Over the past year or two we have received a great deal of interest from elite athletes interested in coming to Redeemer. We are continuing to make improvements to the program so that we have a lot to offer to them.
“We’ve been blessed by significant community support that has allowed us to make these improvements. Now it is a matter of getting people talking about everything that is going right with our program rather than focusing on the past.”
Lady Royals veteran Morrissa Lychak said the losing streak wasn’t something the Royals could ignore.
“It was a big deal to us. We talked about it often. The coaches want to turn the program around and they are being very proactive. We understand that it’s not going to happen overnight but it is exciting to see the time and effort that is being put into the team in so many different ways”.
Mantel was impressed with his team’s focus.
“I’m happy this year’s team has already put the losing streak behind them. We want to have a positive outlook towards the future and move forward”.
In the other matches on the Royals’ weekend, the men’s basketball team fell to 0-2 after a 74-50 loss to Algoma University on Friday and a heartbreaking loss to Sault College, 54-53, on Saturday.
Calvin Turnbull (Burlington) led the Royals in scoring with 13 points in the loss to the Cougars.
Both men’s and women’s teams are back to work on Friday and Saturday in their home opener weekend. Friday (Nov. 2), the teams host the Oakville Sheridan Bruins at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. and on Saturday, London’s Fanshawe Falcons stop in for games at the same times.