Don’t call them the Comeback Queens.
As the Brock University women defeated the Ryerson Rams 84-71 Saturday to win their first Ontario University Athletics (OUA) title since 1983, they led most of the way.
“I have no words. I am so incredibly proud of this team,” said Brock’s Samantha Keltos, who had a triple-double with 42 points and 12 rebounds and was named MVP of the championship game.
“Nobody believed in us. We proved people wrong. During the game I was locked in. My teammates said my face was like a zombie, because I was just zoned in.”
Keltos was on fire from beyond the arc, shooting eight-for-nine on three-pointers. Star guard Melissa Tatti added 19 points, five rebounds and four assists.
“Honestly, I’m speechless,” Tatti told Brock’s internal news team. “Every game is a dream. The comeback, then the comeback again, and now this. We wanted it so badly. It’s a dream come true.”
This is also Brock’s first OUA title since the championship trophy was renamed the Critelli Cup in 2016, after the school’s long-time coach and sports administrator, Chris Critelli.
“She’s had an impact on everyone on this team,” said Brock Sports associate athletic director Emily Allan.
Brock was ranked sixth in the country before Saturday’s game and was an underdog in hostile territory, facing No. 2- ranked Ryerson on their home court in downtown Toronto.
Hayley Robertson led Ryerson with 22 points, Bronwyn Williams added 15 and Marin Scotten had 13 in the loss.
“We would have loved to have raised a banner for our school and for everybody that was here supporting us tonight,” said Ryerson coach Carly Clarke. “There’s still a great deal of pride in the effort that this team has put in.
“We faced an incredible amount of adversity and we’re proud to have gotten this far and to get a chance to play next week.”
Both teams advance to the U Sports Final 8 tournament next weekend in Ottawa, with the championship game at TD Place on Sunday at 5 p.m.