First-team all-Canadian Lindsay DeGroot scored 20 points and fifth-year senior Chiara Rocca added 19 as the Ontario University Athletics’ champions, and No.3-seeded, McMaster Marauders downed the tournament host and No.6 ranked Saskatchewan Huskies, 70-46, in the third quarterfinal match-up at the 2008 Canadian Interuniversity Sport women’s basketball championship on Friday evening.
With the win, the Marauders advance to today’s (Saturday’s) semifinal at 8 p.m. (Central Time) when they will face the winners of the final first-round duel between No.2-UBC and No.7-Toronto. Saskatchewan will battle the losers of the UBC-Toronto tilt on the consolation side at 3 p.m.
McMaster, which had lost in the opening round its each of its last six CIS championship appearances over the past nine years, will play for a spot in the gold-medal final for only the second time in team history. Mac lost to Calgary, 91-64, in 1990 before claiming bronze with a 76-72 victory over Regina.
|CIS cage playoffs to be broadcast
Cable 14 will broadcast the CIS Women’s Basketball semi-final live today (Saturday) at 7 p.m. The live broadcast will also be carried on Cogeco 23 in Burlington.
Mac radio station CFUM 93.3 will also broadcast the game live on the internet at http://cfmu.mcmaster.ca The Streaming Sports Network (SSN) will broadcast the entire tournament at http://www.ssncanada.ca
The gold medal game will be broadcast on Sunday (March 9) at 8 p.m. on the Score television network.
The Marauders also become the first team from the Ontario conference to reach the semifinal round at the end-of-the-year tourney since Queen’s in 2001. No OUA school has advanced to the final since York lost, 73-52, to Manitoba in the 1997 title match.
Leading 32-27 at halftime last night, the Marauders found themselves in a close game against a youthful Huskies team. But, with size and experience at hand, McMaster’s press defence and quick offensive transition allowed the Marauders to jump to a 20-point lead midway through the fourth quarter, which they dominated 25-8.
“We are a little more of a veteran team and we knew we could settle the storm,” CIS coach of the year Theresa Burns said of her team’s ability to pull away. “It feels good to move into the medal round. We wanted to be there last year but couldn’t quite do it.”
The game opened up with McMasters’ Rocca scoring six straight points to give the Marauders an 8-2 lead. But, the youthful Huskies proved themselves early answering back with two three-point shots by Lindsay Copeland and Kim Tulloch.
In the second quarter it was the Huskies again battling against a growing Marauder lead. Down by 11 with 6:53 left in the second, Saskatchewan guard Amy Prokop started a six-point scoring streak for the Huskies after she stole the ball at half court and drove the floor for an easy bucket.
The Huskies battled to within one point of the Marauders after Mary Hipperson received a pass from Kara Lackie and drove backcourt for a lay-up. But, at the end of the half the two teams entered the locker rooms with McMaster on top, 32-27.
The Dogs came out strong early tying the game up at 34 2:03 into the third. But, the Marauder’s high-powered offence and tough defence took control and never looked back. McMaster’s DeGroot made a strong presence on both sides of the court as she blocked a shot by Prokop and then two possessions later hit a wide-open three-point shot midway through the fourth to give the Marauders a 57-42 lead.
Refusing the let up, the Marauder’s continued to roll after Taylor Smith drove the paint and dished to a wide-open Rachel Hart for an easy three-point shot that put the nail in the coffin for the Huskies and gave McMaster a 20-point lead with 1:50 left in the game.
The Marauders held on to win with DeGroot finishing with 20 points and Rocca scoring 19. The top scorers for the Huskies were Prokop with 10 and Copeland with nine.
Points: DeGroot (20), Rocca (19).
Rebounds: Rocca (8), DeGroot (6).
Assists: Taylor Smith (5).
Player of the game: DeGroot