Women Badgers hold off Mac in basketball

It was almost an amazing comeback, but a furious fourth quarter rally by the McMaster women’s basketball team could not prevent a 61-55 defeat at the hands of the Brock Badgers.

(Photo: Fraser Caldwell/McMaster Athletics)

(Photo: Fraser Caldwell/McMaster Athletics)

In an Ontario University Athletics women’s basketball rescheduled from the previous evening because the winter storm closed the McMaster campus, the Marauders were looking to solidify their fourth-place spot in the West Division which guarantees a home playoff game in the first-round.

Thursday’s (Feb. 6) game was really a game of two very different halves for McMaster. Tied at 10 in the opening quarter, the Badgers ended the period on a 10-1 run and led 20-11 after 10 minutes. The second quarter was also not kind to the Marauders as they struggled at both ends of the court, and by halftime the Badgers held a 36-19 lead.

McMaster opened the third quarter on an 8-2 run that cut the deficit to 38-27 and forced Brock into a timeout. But the Badgers withstood the rally and heading to the final stanza, Brock held a commanding 56-38 lead.

The fourth quarter saw McMaster start to chip away and Marauder Danielle Boiago got hot from beyond the arc. Slowly the Brock lead diminished as the Badgers were stuck on 56 for more than six minutes and the Marauders made it 56-52 but could not score to make it a one possession game.

Brock’s Annie McNeely finally hit a three-ball to end the scoring drought and push the lead back to seven. McMaster could only close to within six over the final three minutes as Brock held on for the win.

A positive to come out of the valiant comeback effort is that McMaster now holds the tie-breaker over the Badgers if the teams end tied in the standings, having won at Brock by 16 in January.

Boiago was the top Mac shooter with 17 points, while Hailey Milligan had 11 and grabbed 15 rebounds for a double-double effort. The BIG MAC Player of the game was rookie Lexie Spadafora, who helped spark the Maroon comeback with a strong fourth quarter.

Brock got 12 points from both Nicole Rosenkranz and Dayna Howlett.

McMaster is now 11-8, while Brock improves to 10-9, and is right behind McMaster in the standings.