While not quite on the scale of David and Goliath, the McMaster women’s basketball team will tip off the Canadian Interuniversity Sports Women’s Basketball Championship Friday (March 12) as a big underdog against the prohibitive favourite from Simon Fraser University.
Seeded eighth as the host team, McMaster will use home court advantage in its attempt to pull off the upset of the top-seeded Clan from Simon Fraser.
The Marauders endured an injury-riddled campaign, but still managed to finish with a conference record of 13 wins and nine losses, tied for third in the Ontario University Athletics West Division, before losing in the playoffs to Brock. The Marauders have played much better within the familiar confines of the Burridge Gym and handed the CIS second-ranked and OUA champion Windsor Lancers their only conference defeat, a 66-50 score, on Jan.16 in Hamilton.
Against other teams in the tournament, McMaster lost a narrow 58-55 decision to Ottawa at home in OUA interlock play, dropped a 74-68 decision to Regina at the Calgary tournament, and lost to Laval 68-51 in the bronze medal game of the Ryerson tournament.
Simon Fraser presents a formidable challenge for the Marauders. Since Joining CIS in time for the 2001-02 season, Simon Fraser’s women’s hoops squad has qualified for the national tournament every year and has captured four Canadian championships.
The Clan enters the 2010 CIS tournament as top-seed and defending national champions. and will be looking to become the first team to win back to back titles since the Manitoba Bisons in 1996 and 1997.
The tournament will also be Simon Fraser’s last CIS event, before leaving to start play in the NCAA Division-II ranks next season.