By Armen Zargarian
Toronto Metropolitan University’s (TMU) women’s basketball team fell 64-54 to the McMaster Marauders at Burridge Gymnasium in Hamilton on Friday night.
McMaster led wire to wire and handed the Bold their fourth straight loss to open the season.
“Mac did a good job disrupting our flow offensively,” said head coach Carly Clarke. “We held them under their scoring average, but offensively, we’re still working on connecting our group.”
The Bold scored only eight points in the first quarter, but fought back in the second, narrowing the lead to one point with 2:39 left in the half.
Marauders guard Sarah Gates came into the game averaging 30.7 points, the highest in the country.
“I felt like we made her work today and she still had 28 points and 11 rebounds,” said Clarke. “She can score in a variety of ways.”
For the Bold, point guard Kait Nichols played a strong game, controlling the pace, passing with precision, and attacking the offensive glass.
“She competes hard and I think that shows up, she filled up the stat sheet again,” said Clarke.
Nichols and Lauryn Meek connected on a pick and roll that led to an and-one opportunity for Meek as the first half winded down. The half finished 30-25 in favour of the Marauders.
The Bold held Gates to only ten points in the second half, but the Marauders hit timely shots to keep the lead over TMU.
Jenna Button was a consistent threat from McMaster, finishing with 10 points, four rebounds and four assists. Amy Stinson contributed with three triples.
A pair of back-to-back triples courtesy of the Bold’s Jayme Foreman and Rachel Farwell once again narrowed the margin to one point in the third quarter. Still, the Bold were unable to muster enough offence down the stretch to complete a comeback.
On a positive note for the team, Tiya Misir returned to the lineup and Kailie Hall appeared in her first game of the season in her hometown of Hamilton.
Hall said she felt limited, and was seen doing ankle raises and staying warm on the bike when she was on the bench. The third-year guard suffered an ankle injury during the pre-season, but finished the night with six points and four assists in her season debut.
“They still have to catch up in terms of rhythm and getting back out there with the team,” said Clarke. “But having Tiya and Kailie back is tremendous.”
UP NEXT: TMU will looks for their first win of the season on Saturday against the Algoma Thunderbirds at the Mattamy Athletic Centre. Tip-off is set for 2 p.m.