The McMaster Marauders Pita Pit Athletes of the Week are Cindy Nelles of the women’s rugby team and Leon Alexander of the men’s basketball team.
Alexander takes home the Athlete of the Week nod for a second consecutive week, after leading the Marauders in scoring in both of their games at the Canadian Interuniversity Sport Final 8 in Ottawa. The forward completed a strong final act in his first season in maroon, that saw him take on increasing minutes and responsibility as McMaster battled through the conference and national playoffs.
He posted a team-high 14 points along with five rebounds in the Marauders’ quarter-final loss to the Carleton Ravens, before one-upping himself in the consolation round. There, Alexander notched a double-double with 23 points and 10 boards, as McMaster battered the AUS-champion Saint Mary’s Huskies, 98-71, to finish its season on a high note.
Nelles, the Marauder captain and All-Canadian during the CIS 15s season, brought her talents to bear in the 7s format this past weekend. She was named Player of the Tournament at the University Rugby Sevens Championship in Langford, B.C., as McMaster surprised the field and stormed to a gold medal. The Marauders overcame a winless record in pool play to notch consecutive wins over the defending champion Guelph Gryphons, the Alberta Pandas and the Lethbridge Pronghorns in the knockout rounds.
Nelles was a key contributor in that turnaround, scoring four tries in three matches played.