The McMaster Marauders found out why the Windsor Lancers are the top-ranked women’s basketball team in Canada. The Lancers defeated the Marauders, 73-51, in the Ontario University Athletics West division final on Saturday (March 2).
With the win, Windsor qualifies for the Canadian Interuniversity Sport national championships and will host Carleton Ravens next week for the OUA title. The Marauders still have one game left to play, and will head to Ottawa next Saturday to play the Gee-Gees in the OUA bronze medal game.
The Marauders knew they would have to play a near perfect game to beat the two-time defending national champs, but came out flat to start the game and fell behind 11-0 off the tip. Having spotted the home team the early lead, Mac managed to rally somewhat and the first quarter ended with Windsor on top 18-10.
Windsor’s game plan was clearly to deny Marauder Hailey Milligan any space and the Mac post was double and triple-teamed whenever she got the ball.
Giving up inches at every position, McMaster had a hard time on defense and the team shooting touch was cold from outside. The second quarter was closer, but the Lancers were still able to extend their advantage to 36-23 at the half.
It was vital that the Marauders had a strong start to the second half for any chance of coming back, but the third quarter began like the game start with Windsor outscoring Mac 14-5 to build up a 21-point cushion. Unable to generate any sustained offense, McMaster could not start the run it desperately needed and the third quarter ended with Windsor leading 55-35.
With 10 minutes remaining and a large partisan crowd sensing victory, Windsor kept up the pressure and refused to allow Mac any glimmer of hope. A rare five-point play by Danielle Boiago could only get the Marauders within 17, but Windsor responded quickly and got the lead back over 20 before closing out the 22-point victory.
Boiago was the top scorer for Mac with 14 points, while Milligan scored 13 and grabbed 17 rebounds for her 14th straight double-double. Vanessa Bonomo also chipped in 13.
Windsor got 16 points each from Jessica Clemencon and Bojana Kovacevic. The Lancers dominated the glass with 54 rebounds compared to McMaster’s 36.