Women Marauders heading for basketball playoff

Taylor Chiarot takes aim for two of her 17 points. (Photo: Cameron Dunlop)

The McMaster Marauders women’s basketball team locked up a date in the first round of Ontario University Athletics playoffs with a 65-60 home defeat of the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks on Saturday (Feb.18).

Taylor Chiarot finished with a game high 17 points increasing her McMaster all-time career scoring record to 1,289 points.

The ball game was fairly even in the opening quarter with both teams exchanging baskets as evident by the buzzer score of 18-18. Mac opened the game up in the second period going on an 11-2 run with Vanessa Bonomo and Liz Burns getting a number of good looks in transition.

The Marauders would head to the locker room up 34-26 at the half. Hailey Miligan and Chiarot each had seven points in the first half. Bonomo finished with six.

Out of the break, the Golden Hawks responded with Laura Doyle sparking a rally on some hot shooting to cut the Marauder lead to 38-34. Laurier would go on an 18-10 run to open the quarter and tie the game at 44-44 with just over three minutes left in the third.

Despite some cold shooting from the field and Milligan sidelined with her fourth foul, the Marauders made all six of their free throw attempts in the remaining time to hold a narrow 52-51 lead as the third quarter ended.

With Milligan on the bench Chiarot had to handle the interior herself and she opened the quarter with a basket to give the Marauders a three-point lead. The Golden Hawks immediately responded with a jumper by Christa Mancino and a three from Courtney Bruce to take their first lead since early in the game.

Fortunately for the Marauders, Burns would tie the game after a long scoring drought and Abby Hurd would drain a timely three to re-establish a three-point McMaster lead, which the Marauders would not relinquish.

Burns was named the Big Mac Player of the Game finishing with 16 points, six rebounds and four assists. Laura Doyle was the Player of the Game for Laurier scoring 11 points. Kimberley Yeldon was the top scorer for the Golden Hawks with a 13 point, 12 rebound double double performance.

With the win, Marauders concluded their conference schedule at 11-11 and will advance to the first round of the OUA playoffs on Feb. 22. Laurier finished just ahead of McMaster in the standings at 13-9.

After the game graduating seniors Chiarot and Alyska Lukan where honoured. Former players turned support staff members Rebecca Rewi and Leanne Schildorth where also honoured.