The McMaster women’s basketball team did a complete turnaround from the night before and defeated the Lakehead Thunderwolves, 72-63, on Saturday (Feb. 1) in Thunder Bay.
Showing an intensity that was missing 24 hours earlier, the Marauders got off to a strong start, led by 10 first quarter points from Danielle Boiago, and forged a 21-15 lead after 10 minutes of play. Lakehead still worked to deny Hailey Milligan, but the Marauders did a much better job of finding open shooters.
The second quarter of the Ontario University Athletics encounter saw the Marauders continue to push the tempo and the lead grew to as many as 14, before two late buckets by Lakehead trimmed the Maroon advantage to 41-31 at the half.
Knowing that Lakehead would pass them in the OUA West standings with a win, McMaster played hard and got a total team effort with contributions off the bench from Liz Burns, Clare Kenney, and Isabel Ormond.
The Marauders carried their double-digit lead through most of the third quarter, with Lakehead unable to make a long scoring run. The Wolves did cut the deficit by one and the score was 58-49 for McMaster heading to the final quarter.
Lakehead had trouble with the Marauder defense all game, but was able to get as close as six points late in the game when Danielle Boiago drilled a 3-ball to bump the lead back up to nine. McMaster was then able to make their free throws down the stretch and close out the win.
Winning by nine points gives the Maroon the tie-breaker with Lakehead, should the two teams end up tied in the standings. McMaster improves to 11-7, while Lakehead is 9-9.
Top shooter for McMaster was Boiago, who cooled off in the second half, but still finished with a game-high 23 points. Liz Burns chipped in 13 huge points off the bench.
The Marauders will return home to play the Brock Badgers on Wednesday (Feb. 5). Tip-off in the Burridge Gym is 6 p.m.