Women Marauders get year off to good start

The Marauders overcame a fourth quarter deficit to topple the Guelph Gryphons, 73-69, on Wednesday night in Ontario University Athletics women’s basketball.

Photo: Rick Zazulak/McMaster Communications

The win is McMaster’s first since the team’s return to conference play following the holiday break, improving the Marauders’ record to 4-6 on the season.

Rookie guard Danielle Boiago led all scorers with 20 points, followed closely by Isabelle Ormond’s 19.

Guelph was led by guard Alyssa Shortt, who scored 16 points on seven of 10 from the field.

The game began evenly, with the teams trading buckets through the first five minutes. Isabelle Ormond knocked down a triple to give the visitors their first lead at 12-9 with 5:03 remaining in the opening quarter.

Guelph quickly erased that deficit, and the first concluded without a true front-runner and the score knotted at 18.

The give-and-take continued in the second quarter, with Liz Burns knocking down a bucket to nudge McMaster ahead 27-26 with six minutes left in the opening half. Guelph powered ahead in the final two minutes of the half, after a close-range bucket from Shortt and an uncontested steal and layup courtesy of Kayla Goodhoofd made it a 36-30 game in the hosts’ favour.

The Marauders immediately trimmed that deficit to open the third quarter, with Boiago converting two attempts from the line to bring the visitors within two. Guelph reestablished its lead midway through the third however, and Erica McFadden’s long jumper gave the Gryphons their first double-digit lead of the game at 44-34 with 5:11 remaining in the quarter

McMaster scored the next eight points to storm back into contention and within two points, before an and-one bucket for the hosts broke the run with two minutes remaining in the third.

The Marauders trailed after three, but an opportunistic approach to begin the fourth quarter brought the visitors back within reach in the opening minutes. Stephanie Truelove followed a Vanessa Bonomo layup with a steal and lay-in of her own to trim the Gryphons’ lead to a single point at 50-49.

Abby Hurd knocked down a three-pointer three minutes into the quarter to give the visitors their first lead of the half at 52-50. Guelph responded quickly, and Short answered with a triple of her own as the Gryphons took a 58-54 lead with five minutes to play.

Boiago then took her turn from beyond the arc to keep the Marauders within striking distance. The rookie guard knocked down consecutive three-pointers and McMaster trailed 63-61, despite Guelph having caught fire from the field. Ormond shielded and drove the basket to add two more to the visitors’ total, and they were suddenly a point from the pace with two minutes remaining.

It was Boiago who came up with the clutch basket, as the Marauders cycled the ball beyond the arc before the rookie drained a three with 55 seconds to play that vaulted the visitors ahead, 68-66. She kept her hot hand to sink another three-point dagger with 18.3 on the clock and give McMaster a four-point lead.

That proved to be all that the Marauders needed to win, as the Gryphons were forced to foul in the final seconds.