The women’s team continued their dominate season with four solid wins against Brock, Guelph and Ottawa before being handed their first loss against the University Sports No. 2 ranked Carleton Ravens. After a 35-point blow-out against the Badgers, Brock was out for vengeance when they returned to Burridge gym, rocketing to a 64-53 lead at the end of the third quarter.
But the Marauders clawed back from as much as 15 points in the fourth as fourth year guard Danielle Boiago scored 15 of her career-high 39 in the last eight minutes to tie the game at 79, before turning around to block Brock’s final shot attempt and force overtime.
The Mac women sealed the win behind Linnea Harper’s double-double performance (21 points, 11 rebounds) and clutch free throw shooting at the end.
Unfortunately, it was after a 19-point win against Ottawa that Mac would come up short against a versatile Carleton team. Struggling defensively against an established Ravens frontcourt, McMaster had no answer for Carleton’s 6’3 Ontario University Athletics all-star fourth year Heather Lindsey, who had 25 points and 17 rebounds on the night. Her performance was part of a much larger battle on the glass that saw McMaster grab just 27 rebounds to Carleton’s 50. They also gave up eight threes while shooting an uncharacteristic 31 per cent from the floor. The loss would temporarily cost them their No. 1 national ranking, as they slipped to third behind No. 2 Carleton and No. 1 ranked Laval.
But after a quick holiday break it was back to business as Mac added five more wins to their record, starting with a three game tournament sweep at the Thunder Selects Holiday Classic in Halifax. The tournament included a come-from-behind victory against Acadia powered by Boiago’s 32 points, followed by a clean win over Dalhousie to earn a finals birth against St Mary’s. Putting together a strong defensive performance the Marauders held the Huskies to just 24 per cent from the three-point line while forcing 19 points off turnovers on route to a 72-67 victory.
They also added a valuable piece in the play of fifth-year veteran Vanessa Pickard, who is back on the court after a series of knee surgeries kept her sidelined for 14 months. Since her return, they have won their last two games of league play by 82 points, and will look to run the table against OUA competition as they gear up for the post-season. Expect the Marauders to continue relying on their depth, defense, and sharpshooting backcourt as they head into a jam-packed winter schedule.