Back-to-backs break Marauders backs

McMasterIf the McMaster women’s basketball team wants to contend in the West division of Ontario University Athletics, it will need to play better than it did in a 75-62 loss at the hands of the Western Mustangs on Saturday (Nov. 30).

It’s rare that Mac’s Hailey Milligan goes a whole quarter without scoring but the Mustangs took a physical approach that bothered the Marauder post and held her off the scoresheet over the first 10 minutes. Fortunately for the Marauders, Danielle Boiago was on fire hitting three treys and scoring 11 points in the opening period. However it was the Mustangs, behind All-Canadian Jenny Vaughan who held a 25-17 lead at the end of the first, after going on a 12-2 run to finish the period.

The second quarter saw McMaster open up with a 9-0 run to take a 26-25 lead, and it took Western over five minutes of game time to score its first points on a nice drive by Vaughan. Milligan finally got some inside looks to fall and the teams went back and forth for the rest of the quarter. With time winding down the Marauders gave Vaughan too much room and she hit a three at the buzzer to extend the Mustang advantage to 35-31 at intermission.

Western used the long ball to increase the lead as back-to-back three-pointers opened a 10-point advantage. The Marauders got a spark from Rachael Holmes who scored six points in the quarter, but poor shot selection plagued McMaster and Western held a 55-47 advantage heading to the final quarter.

The Mustangs took advantage of McMaster’s shooting woes and after hitting consecutive three-pointers again, the Western lead was 14 at 61-47. The Marauders left the Mustang shooters far too many open looks and paid for it.

McMaster made a final run to get within six points, but too many turnovers that led to Western points deepened the deficit down the stretch. The Mustangs again hit from beyond the arc on consecutive possessions to go up 70-58 and McMaster had no answer as the home side closed out a 75-62 win.

Boiago had 24 points to lead the Marauders and help keep them in striking distance, but for the first time this year Milligan was not the dominant post on the floor as Western’s Katelyn Leddy shut her down, while registering a double-double of her own with 18 points and 11 rebounds. Obviously frustrated by the tough defense, Milligan finished with 11 points and 16 rebounds, but didn’t reach double figures in points until Western had the game well in hand. Western’s Vaughan cooled off in the second half but still scored a game high 26 points.

The Marauders see their win-loss record slip to 7 and 3 at the schedule break, and the team now has some ground to make up in the new year as they fall farther behind OUA West division leaders Windsor, Western and Laurier, all at 9-1. Mac will travel to St. Catharines to play Brock, which has a 6-4 record, when the schedule resume on Jan. 9.