The Golden Hawks have had a sensational season so far and sit second in the Ontario University Athletics West Division behind Windsor. For the Marauders it was a missed opportunity to gain in the standings.
Both the teams played very even through the opening quarter and the game was tied at 20 after 10 minutes. McMaster opened the second quarter on a 7-0 run to grab the lead and maintained the advantage through the period, holding a 40-34 margin at the half. Milligan was almost unstoppable and had 18 points through the first half.
McMaster again started strong in the third quarter and built the lead to 50-41, looking ready to assume control. But Laurier played smart and took advantage of some sloppy Marauder play to finish the quarter on a 10-4 run which narrowed the gap to 54-51 after the third period.
McMaster was able to maintain production from Milligan but as the Hawks made it harder to feed their top scorer, the Marauders continued to commit turnovers and take poor shots. The momentum definitely shifted toward Laurier and the Hawks took their first lead since the opening stanza at 63-61 with roughly five minutes remaining.
The teams went back and forth for the rest of the game, but McMaster remained its own worst enemy by missing box-outs for second-chance points and sending Laurier to the charity stripe. Finally, a Milligan basket with 40 seconds left put McMaster in front 69-67. Coming out of a Laurier timeout, the Marauders forced a missed shot but another missed box-out allowed Doreen Bonsu to rebound the miss and score to tie the game. She was also fouled but missed the free throw, allowing the Marauders 20 seconds to set up for the win.
As expected McMaster went inside to Milligan but her shot wouldn’t fall and in the ensuing scramble, McMaster was called for a foul with 2.2-seconds remaining. The foul call put Laurier in the penalty and Lee Anna Osei made the first free throw to give Laurier the lead. A deliberate miss on the second free throw allowed McMaster no opportunity to call a timeout and the clock ran out on the Maroon.
This loss will hurt as it was several small breakdowns in the final minutes that allowed Laurier to steal the win.
Milligan finished with 34 points and 13 rebounds, while Danielle Boiago chipped in 14 points. For Milligan, her scoring total pushed her over the 1,000-point plateau in her OUA career. With 1,011 points she becomes the fourth Marauder to join the 1,000-point club after Taylor Chiarot, Taylor Smith, and Chiara Rocca.
The Marauders continue road play going to Guelph on Jan. 22 before returning home for the annual THINK PINK game on Jan. 25th when the Western Mustangs visit.