Mac falls in fourth quarter

Scott Hastie
November 15, 2012
This article was published more than 2 years ago.
Est. Reading Time: 3 minutes

Marauder fans saw two different teams don the Maroon and Grey for the women’s basketball team this week.

The young team walked away from opening weekend with a 1-1 record. McMaster took on the York Lions on Nov. 9 for the first game of the season and defeated the undersized Lions 59-47, in what Head Coach Theresa Burns called a team effort.

The first quarter would be an offensive struggle for both teams with free throws generating majority of the offense. Despite a noticeable height advantage in favour of Mac, the team used rookie Danielle Boiago to step in for an injured Vanessa Bonomo.

“We needed [Boiago] to handle the ball for us and I thought she gave us really solid minutes,” Burns said. “She directed traffic really well, especially for a rookie point guard.”

Her play gave McMaster the lead after the first, 13-12.

Physical play would be the story of the second quarter. Fights for loose balls often ended with a slew of players hitting the hardwood and emotions ran high for the two teams. McMaster looked to the fourth-year forward Hailey Milligan and used her play in the post to carry the offensive load through the quarter. Rookie Danielle Boiago filled in for an injured Vanessa Bonomo and helped the team find an offensive rhythm.

Defensively, the Marauders used a full-court press and strong rotations to force poor shots. The home team allowed only six points in the second quarter, while scoring 19 themselves. McMaster headed into the locker room with a 32-18 lead.

In the third quarter, McMaster’s mistake gifted the Lions easy points. Turnovers and poor defensive rebounding allowed York to get shots in close, but struggles in the half-court offense kept the visitors at bay. Going into the fourth, McMaster held a 43-31 lead and used the advantage to give younger players playing time.

Mac’s youth performed well on the offensive end, but their work defensively needed improvement. Three point shooting and transition buckets gave York a chance to make this a competitive game, but Coach Theresa Burns put all the starters back in to secure the victory.

But the team had little time to celebrate, with their second game of the season the following night. Hailing from Sudbury, Ont. the Laurentian Lady Voyageurs took the court at Burridge Gym and gave McMaster more than they could handle.

On offense, McMaster failed to react to a zone defense from Laurentian and was caught over-passing the ball. What seemed liked unselfish play was actually damaging the offense and the Marauders hit a dry spell in the middle of the second quarter.

With three mediocre quarters of basketball behind them, the Maroon and Grey held a 43-41 lead, with their opponents looking gassed. But when Laurentian stepped up the physicality, McMaster showed their age and collapsed.

“It was a mental breakdown and a lack of focus,” said Burns. “We got caught in transition. For a team that prides itself on fitness and our transition game, our transition game was terrible.

But the youth cannot take all of the blame. McMaster needed their veterans to step up and lead their team, but instead the veterans caved under pressure. Milligan and Liz Burns had five and four turnovers respectively, giving the Lady Voyageurs easy chances.

It was a frustrating result, but one to be expected when a team is built around a core of first- and second- year players. McMaster has a chance to get back in the win column with a trip to Ottawa this weekend. The Ottawa Gee-Gees host the Marauders on Nov.16. They suffered two losses to open their season.

On Nov.17, the No.4 Carleton Ravens will. To succeed, Mac will have to make up for a lack of depth with a strong defensive effort, as points will be hard to come by.

Strong play from the veterans is a must for the Marauders. Without standout performances from the upper-years, it could be a disappointing road trip.

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