Two games in Calgary have yielded two nail-biting wins for the McMaster Marauders women’s basketball team.
A day after their opening 83-81 victory at the Ranger Inspection Holiday Hoops Tournament over the University of Lethbridge Pronghorns, the Marauders edged the host Calgary Dinos, 88-87, on Saturday (Dec. 29).
McMaster led by as many as 22 points over the course of the game, but was forced to battle through a Calgary comeback that saw the hosts reclaim the lead briefly in the final minutes.
Rookie guard Danielle Boiago led all scorers with 24 points in the win, adding seven rebounds and six assists. Hailey Milligan and Clare Kenney each chipped in 13 points.
The Dinos took an early lead in the first quarter, stretching it to 21-15 after Erika Romanow knocked down a three-pointer. But McMaster whittled away at the deficit as the quarter came to a close and Isabelle Ormond made two free throws to narrow the gap to a single point at the interval.
The Marauders fell off the pace once again to begin the second, before reeling off a 20-5 run that put them firmly in control at the half. A layup courtesy of Milligan capped the outburst and gave McMaster a 46-37 lead.
Boiago took the offence into her own hands as the Marauders exited the dressing room. The rookie connected on three consecutive triples in the first two minutes of the half as McMaster’s lead ballooned to 55-40. That wide lead held throughout the third quarter, and the Marauders entered the final 10 minutes with a comfortable 73-58 advantage.
But the Dinos were hardly ready to concede on home court. Calgary doggedly chipped away at McMaster’s margin and put together a 10-2 run that closed the gap to four points after a Tamara Jarrett three-pointer. The hosts kept the game close, and regained the lead with 29 seconds remaining when Jessica Franz’s layup made it 87-86.
However, the last dagger would be McMaster’s. Liz Burns showed her composure by draining two from the charity stripe to return the lead to the Marauders, and Dino Alex Cole missed a last-ditch three-point attempt to close out the game.
McMaster took full advantage of Calgary’s mistakes, scoring 26 points off of Dinos turnovers.
The win was an impressive one, coming against a Calgary team currently ranked No. 7 in the Canadian Interuniversity Sport top ten national rankings.
McMaster concludes tournament play with a Sunday game against the UBC Thunderbirds.
The team returns to Ontario University Athletics conference action on Jan. 3 when the Marauders travels to St. Catharines to play the Brock Badgers. Mac took a 3-4 record into the Christmas break.