The McMaster women’s basketball team narrowly avoided a winless weekend by snatching a come-from-behind victory from the York Lions on Nov. 23.
After having their five-game winning streak snapped by the Ottawa Ravens, the Marauders were looking to get back on-track when they travelled to Kingston, Ont. on Nov. 22 to take on the Queen’s Gaels.
Coming into the contest, the Gaels sported a record of 3-3, but their hot shooting carried them to a 79-72 victory over the Marauders.
The two teams played to a standstill in the first half. The Gaels and the Marauders exchanged leads, but McMaster’s Danielle Boiago hit a buzzer-beating runner to give McMaster the 39-36 advantage going into halftime.
As usual, opposing defenses struggled to contain McMaster’s leading scorer Hailey Milligan who chipped in with 13 points and 10 rebounds in the first half.
McMaster stretched their lead to nine points halfway through the third before Queen’s hit two three-pointers to end the quarter. The Gaels maintained their momentum in the fourth and used a 9-4 run to tie the game at 58 apiece. I
n an effort to stem the tide, the Marauders fed the ball into the post to Milligan, which allowed McMaster to retake the lead at 65-60 with four minutes left in the contest.
However, McMaster’s offense fell apart down the stretch. The Marauders committed five straight turnovers that allowed the Gaels to outscore the Marauders by a 19-7 margin over the final four minutes of the game.
The Gaels won by a final score of 79-72 and they were led in scoring by Liz Boag, who had 18 points. Danielle Boiago scored 24 points in the game and Hailey Milligan put up 25 points and 17 rebounds in the loss.
The team travelled to Toronto the following night to take on the York Lions. On the surface, the Lions also appeared to be an easy opponent as they ranked near the bottom of the OUA with a record of 1-6, but the Marauders barely escaped with a 55-53 victory.
McMaster came out flat and York jumped out to an early 8-0 lead. The Lions had a 15-11 lead after the first quarter.
McMaster’s offensive struggles stretched into the second quarter as they failed to score a single point until the 4:48 mark, at which point the Lions were doubling the Marauders by a score of 24-12.
After increasing the pace of the offense, McMaster ended the half on a 12-2 run and were only trailing by a score of 26-24 at halftime.
However, the third started much like the first. York scored the first seven points in a row before McMaster picked up its play and trimmed the lead to 40-37 at the end of three quarters.
After Vanessa Bonomo tied the game with a three-pointer, the Lions and Marauders exchanged leads right until the dying seconds of the game.
With less than a minute left and York up 53-50, the Marauders ran a play for Milligan in the post, and she promptly scored to pull Mac within one.
After stopping the Lions on their ensuing possession, McMaster went to their bread-and-butter play – the high screen-and-roll with Milligan.
York’s defenders over-committed and doubled Milligan which left Boiago wide open from 12-feet to sink the go-ahead basket with a mere 37 seconds left on the clock. York failed to score on their final two possessions of the game and Boiago sunk a free throw to give McMaster the 55-53 point victory over the Lions.
As usual, the Marauders were led in scoring by Milligan and Boiago, who scored a combined 34 points.
The lack of scoring beyond Boiago and Milligan is definitely a growing concern for the Marauders.
Last week, head coach Theresa Burns stated, “we need to get more offensive contributions from more players – we can’t just focus on Milligan and Boiago because there will be nights where they can’t get it all done, so we need to find some other players who can chip in.”
After the weekend split, the McMaster Women’s basketball team now sits in fourth place in the OUA West division with a record of 6-2.