Women Marauders eye playoff advantage

It wasn’t pretty but the McMaster women’s basketball team put itself back in the race for a home playoff game with an 84-69 win over the Waterloo Warriors on Saturday afternoon (Feb. 9). The Warriors entered the contest without a win in Ontario University Athletics play but made the Marauders work hard for the home court victory.

Photo: Jay Raulins/McMaster Athletics

The opening quarter saw McMaster post Hailey Milligan control the paint, as she has for the last month, and behind her nine points, McMaster grabbed an 18-8 lead after 10 minutes.

Milligan continued to lead the way for McMaster, but the Warriors got some production from their post Gia Spiropoulos and played the Marauders pretty even in the second quarter so that the Mac lead at halftime was only 39-28. Milligan had 17 points and nine boards in the opening half.

Moving into the third quarter, the Marauders stepped up their intensity and got some outside production from Vanessa Bonomo, who started to hit from long range. McMaster won the quarter by 11 points, bumping up the lead to 22 heading into the final period.

Coach Theresa Burns went to her bench liberally in the final quarter, allowing Milligan to get some rest. Bonomo continued to score or draw fouls and, while Waterloo won the quarter, the Marauders won the war as they were able to close out the 15-point victory to improve to 10-9 in the West Division.

Milligan registered her ninth consecutive double-double with 25 points and 12 rebounds, while Bonomo set a career high with 24 points, while grabbing eight rebounds and dishing out nine assists. That effort earned her the BIG MAC player of the game award. Danielle Boiago also chipped in 13 points for the Marauders. Waterloo was led by Spiropoulos and Jacqui Rodrigues, who each dropped 13.

McMaster will close out the conference schedule with games versus Lakehead on Feb. 15-16 in the Burridge Gym.

Tip-off will be at 6 p.m. both Friday and Saturday.