THUNDER BAY – The McMaster women’s basketball team dropped a 52-46 contest to the Lakehead Thunderwolves in Ontario University Athletics play on Friday night (Jan. 31). The loss all but ends any Marauders hopes of moving up to grab a first-round playoff bye.
The game plan for Lakehead was pretty simple – deny Hailey Milligan any space near the basket and dog Danielle Boiago all over the court. McMaster was very tentative to start the game, allowing Lakehead’s physical style to set the tone. Committing a rash of turnovers and unable to adjust to the stifling defense, the Marauders were fortunate to only trail 16-13 after one quarter.
The second quarter saw McMaster go from tentative to timid as the Wolves scored 14 unanswered points to start the period, grabbing a 30-13 lead. That was the point where the team in Maroon came out of a timeout and staged a rally to cut the deficit to 33-25 at the half.
The third quarter was a display of ugly basketball as both teams struggled to score. Mac won the period 6-5 to trail 38-31 with 10 minutes remaining.
The final quarter saw McMaster get to within one possession at 46-43 with three minutes left, but turnovers, missed rebounds and weak defense by the Marauders allowed Lakehead to hang on for the six-point win.
McMaster got 15 points from Boiago and 15 from Milligan to lead the scoring parade, with the rest of the Marauders combining for the remaining 15 points.
McMaster’s record falls to 10-7 in the OUA West, while Lakehead improves to 9-8.
The two teams play again on Saturday in Lakehead’s C-J Sanders Fieldhouse at 6 p.m., and another Lakehead win will move the Thunderwolves ahead of McMaster in the standings.