The McMaster women’s basketball team took care of business on home court and defeated the Lakehead Thunderwolves, 83-64, on Friday evening (Feb. 15), which guarantees a home playoff game in Ontario University Athletics post-season.
Photo: Rick Zazulak/McMaster Athletics
Lakehead was looking for a win to clinch its spot in the OUA playoffs, and, behind 10 points in the first quarter, from Carolyn Fragale, took a 20-19 lead after one period of play. Hailey Milligan scored eight points in the first to keep the Marauders close.
The second quarter saw the Marauders get a spark from Rachael Holmes, who came off the bench and scored eight points to help Mac take the lead at halftime, 37-34. The Marauder defense tightened up on Fragale, who scored four points in the second quarter, and Mac’s Danielle Boiago hit a three at the buzzer to grab the advantage.
McMaster picked up the pace in the third quarter and behind Milligan, who started to control the paint, the Marauders extended the lead to 64-53. Applying some full court pressure resulted in some turnovers and easy baskets for McMaster. Lakehead’s Katie Ulakovic did her best to keep her team close, hitting four treys in the quarter.
Desperate to get back in the game, Lakehead saw its shooting touch disappear at the worst time and the Marauders kept the pressure on with Milligan scoring inside and Boiago and Vanessa Bonomo hitting from the perimeter. Unable to generate the run, Lakehead saw Mac run away for the 83-64 final.
McMaster’s Milligan registered her 10th straight double-double with 26 points and 17 rebounds, while Boiago matched her point total with 26. The BIG MAC player of the game was Holmes for her career high game of 12 points off the bench, while Bonomo chipped in 11.
Lakehead was led by Ulakovic who finished with 23 points.
The Marauders won the battle of the boards 44 to 31.
With the win, Mac goes to 11 and 9 and will finish no worse than fourth in the OUA West. Lakehead falls to 7 and 13, and remains in the sixth a final playoff position.
The two teams play again Saturday night, with Lakehead looking to lock up a playoff spot and McMaster possibly playing to improve its own playoff seed.