As only the second team in their school’s history to win a medal at the CIS Women’s Basketball Championships, the No. 3 McMaster Marauders head home to Hamilton satisfied in defeating the No. 8 Laval Rouge et Or 83-79 on Sunday (March 9) afternoon for the bronze.
With 31 seconds left in the game the score was tied at 79. Coming off a time out, McMaster’s Taylor Smith fed Lindsay Gegroot cutting across the key who backed down Laval’s Annick Routhier-Labadie and went up strong for the bucket and the foul giving the Marauders a two point lead. The Rouge et Or were unable to answer back and the Marauders held on to win.
“We knew they were going to be there right to the end,” Degroot said of Laval’s ability to battle back after trailing late in the game. “But I got a great screen and they gave me my right hand so I knew I was either getting the basket or going to the foul line.”
The entire game was close as no team lead by more than six points until the fourth quarter. But, momentum seemed to be shifting toward McMaster late in the third quarter when they began to get the ball inside to Chiara Rocca who was deadly in the paint. But, Laval kept on McMaster’s heals only trailing the Marauders 61-57 at three quarter time.
The Marauders’ momentum carried over to the fourth quarter as they scored a quick four points right off the bat to extend their lead to nine. Trailing by 10 points the majority of the fourth quarter, Laval finally began to turn things around after Karine Bibeau downed a three-point shot with 4:22 left in the game.
The Rouge et Or were on a comeback and with just over one minute to play in the fourth, Genevieve Blanchette swished a wide open three-point shot to tie the game up at 78. Then, with 43.1 seconds left, Blanchette found Myriam Lamarre down low in the paint but she was fouled and forced to the line. Lamarre was only good on one free-throw and Laval took a late 79-78 lead.
Then, after Degroot hit a jumper and a foul shot, Laval had one last chance to tie the game up as they gained possession with 31 seconds on the clock down 81-79. Blanchette drove backcourt and put up the tying shot but it was no good and McMaster’s Rachel Hart snagged the board and that was it for the Rouge et Or.
McMasters top scorers were Degroot with 25 points and Hart with 21 and for Laval it was Lamarre with 25 points and Marie-Michelle Genois with 24.
Points: Lindsay DeGroot (25), Rachel Hart (21), Chiara Rocca (14)
Rebounds: Rachel Hart (7), Julia Critchley (6)
Assists: Taylor Smith (4)
Player of the game: Lindsay DeGroot
Points: Myriam Lamarre (25), Marie-Michelle Genois (24), Karine Bibeau (11)
Rebounds: Marie-Michelle Genois (8), Myriam Lamarre (7)
Assists: Patricia Mandeville (8)
Player of the game: Myriam Lamarre