Struggling through the opening quarter on home court, the Marauders looked like a shadow of the team that lit up the Guelph Gryphons for 109 points the night before.
But McMaster’s rhythm returned as Saturday’s game progressed, and the #4 ranked Marauders ultimately saw out the 59-43 victory over Laurier to sweep the season series and clinch their sixth straight win.
The result improved McMaster to 12-2 in OUA play, keeping the Marauders on pace with the Lakehead Thunderwolves atop the conference’s West Division.
Sophomore guard Sarah Gates was the Marauders most prolific scorer in the win, with 19 points derived from seven of 14 shooting from the field and two of five from three-point range. On a quiet offensive night, forward Olivia Wilson was the only other Mac player to eclipse double digits in points, with 12 on six of 13 from the field, while adding seven rebounds.
With McMaster opening the night ice cold from the field, Laurier raced out on an 11-3 run to begin the first quarter, and held the Marauders typically-potent attack to just eight points in the frame en route to a seven-point lead.
The visitors’ lead survived until the late stages of the second quarter, when Mac closed the half on a 7-2 run to draw level at 24 after a Wilson layup carried the teams into the break.
From there, the home side looked much more like its usual self, outscoring the Golden Hawks by eight in the third quarter to establish firm control of proceedings as the teams entered the final 10 minutes of play.
Laurier took its turn to have an ice-cold quarter from the field in the fourth, squashing any hopes of a comeback by scoring just nine points on 26 per cent shooting, while McMaster poured in 17 on the other end with Wilson leading the way with six of her own.
NEXT UP: The Marauders play host to a pivotal home double feature in a week’s time, as McMaster welcomes Lakehead for a showdown of the OUA West’s top two teams. The first game of the two-night series tips off at 6:00 p.m. on Friday, January 18 and can be seen live on OUA.tv.
Source: Fraser Caldwell