By Fraser Caldwell
Grabbing the first lead of the game, the Marauders never relinquished it Saturday, and crashed back into the win column with a dominant 78-56 victory over the Toronto Varsity Blues at Burridge Gym.
With the result, the Marauders improved to 4-2 on the season and stayed within a game of the division-leading Brock Badgers, while the Blues fell to 0-6.
Sarah Gates led all scorers with 14 points in the win, hitting five of 12 attempts from the field and two of six from beyond the arc.
Spreading the wealth on the afternoon, the Marauders had five scorers enter double digits, with Christina Buttenham, Jenna Button, Julia Hanaka and Mia Spadafora all joining Gates in that company.
A dream start saw the Marauders score the first 10 points of the afternoon, and send the Varsity Blues to a timeout at 10-0 after Julia Hanaka knocked down a three-pointer with 7:09 to play in the first quarter.
Toronto pulled back into contention by the quarter’s end, embarking on an 8-2 run to conclude it and move within two points of the hosts when Christine Jurcau hit a three for 15-13.
Making use of an edge on the offensive glass, where the Marauders pulled down six boards in the quarter, the home side pounced in the second to build a hefty halftime lead. Mac took 23 shots in the quarter and hit 11 of them, to outscore Toronto 31-14 in the second and pull into a 46-27 advantage at the break.
Toronto showed signs of life in the third quarter, and chipped away at the McMaster lead until the Blues trailed by just 13 at the quarter’s end, after a pair of successful free throws by Sarah Bennett for 59-46.
But any hope that the visitors had of a comeback was short-lived, as the Marauders held the Blues to just 10 points in the final quarter, and pulled away with the help of a six-point quarter from veteran guard Sarah Gates.
NEXT UP: The Marauders embark on a northern road trip, opening with a trip to Sudbury to battle the Laurentian Voyageurs on Friday, November 22.