Photos by Kyle West
Tonight, Thursday Feb. 28, is the semifinal playoff game for the McMaster women’s basketball team and the rematch of the 2018 Ontario University Athletics Critelli Cup finals. Facing the Carleton University Ravens in Burridge Gym will be a nostalgic match, as the Ravens walked away with the Cup last year on the Marauders’ home court. Luckily for Mac, this year they are going to the semifinals as the third best team in the nation while the Ravens’ are seventh.
Ending the regular season 21-3, the Marauders earned their right to a first-round bye, and faced the Brock University Badgers in the OUA quarter-finals. Although the Marauders headed into the game with as much success as they did, the game was not as easy as they would have liked. After struggling for the first half, it was in the third quarter that the Marauders were able to break away and win the match 81-70.
Sarah Gates, who was chosen for the 2018 OUA All-Rookie Team after a strong rookie campaign, scored a whopping 28 points, shooting nine of 16 from the field and five of 10 from three-point range. Her performance was a testament to her overall season, even securing a spot on the OUA All-Star Second Team.
Senior Hilary Hanaka helped out offensively as always, scoring 12 points. Both Hanaka and Linnaea Harper, who sat out of the quarter-final game due to injury, were recognized as First-Team All-Stars.
For the Marauders, staying consistent and not letting the memories of the last Carleton-McMaster matchup get in their heads unless to fuel them, will be the key for the Marauders to return to the Critelli Cup finals once again.