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With the regular season dwindling down, the McMaster Women’s Basketball team is getting closer to the chance of claiming an OUA banner.
The team played four games in the last two weekends at Burridge Gym and came out with a victory from all but one.
With the team suited up and donning their pink socks worn every game as homage to Head Coach Theresa Burns and her battle with breast cancer, they were ready for the first game of Think Pink Weekend.
The first weekend saw the McMaster Marauders match up with two teams from the nation’s capital, the Ottawa Gee-Gees and the Carleton Ravens.
Friday night’s game was a sight to see as fans witnessed the Marauders and Gee-Gees go toe-to-toe in a game that went to overtime. McMaster came up short and fell to the Gee-Gees by a score of 61-60. The Marauders were led by guard Danielle Boiago who scored a game high of 25.
“Whenever you lose in overtime, it’s tough and those are the games that you want to be good down the stretch,” said Boiago.
Though the game came as a valuable learning experience for the team, the loss still held a stinging impact.
“That was our game to have,” said interim Head Coach Anne Marie Thuss.
The team had to shake the loss handed to them by the Ottawa Gee-Gees quickly as they hosted the Carleton Ravens the following night. The Marauders took the 73-51 victory at home led by Boiago’s 16 points. Forward Linnaea Harper also added 12 points.
The Marauders were able to add two more wins to their record as they dominated both Nipissing and Laurentian at home.
“Each game moving forward is a must win game for us.”
While the wins over the past two weekends have helped with the team’s playoff push, there is one factor of play that the team must work on.
The team has had a low shooting percentage from the three-point line and they have been working to become more efficient from long range in practice.
“It’s certainly an expectation that we have been working on in the last couple weeks of practice. This is the time of year that we need to make sure that we are focused during practice,” said Thuss.
For a team that practices in game mode, the next regular season game will be played like a playoff match and ranking is important.
“We need to go in there and play our best. Each game moving forward is a must win game for us,” said Boiago.
Competing in the playoffs has been projected from early on in the team’s season. They have circled the calendar and are working towards making it on March 12.
“We want to be in the OUA Final on that day. We need to win every game. Every game is an individual step towards that goal,” said Thuss.
The team’s matchup against Laurentian was a night to celebrate the graduating student athletes as the team will bid farewell to three players on the roster. Rachael Holmes, Siobhan Manning and Andrea Polischuk were celebrated for their time in Maroon. While the banner will be for the entire team to cherish, there is an added motivation to win for the players that are hanging up their jerseys. There is also a push as Head Coach Theresa Burns has returned to running the bench.
McMaster travelled to St. Catherines yesterday and defeated the Brock Badgers 83-73. The team was led by guard Hilary Hanaka’s 18 points.
With one game left in the 2015-16 regular season, No. 8 McMaster will look to end with a win in Guelph on Friday, Feb. 26. After that, they will wait for playoff seeding and get ready to compete for the title.
“We want to battle for each other,” said Boiago.
Photo Credit: Jon White/ Photo Editor