The Windsor Lancers captured bronze in the 2015-2016 inaugural Critelli Cup Final Four as they defeated the McMaster Marauders 68-58 at the University of Ottawa.
It was a battle of the blocks for most of the game as Clare Kenney of the Marauders and Emily Prevost of the Lancers fought for space in the key. Second Team All-Star, Prevost, was one shy of a double-double sealing almost a quarter of the Lancers rebounds with nine and sinking a heaping 19 points, tying Boiago with the game-high in scoring. McMaster's post, Clare Kenney, also a Second Team All-Star, responded with 17 points and 7 rebounds of her own.
A key factor in the win was Windsor's ability to collect second and third chances, it was a game of boards as the Lancers out-rebounded the Marauders 41-30 with 15 of them coming from the offensive end.
Head coach Chantal Vallée commented on the high numbers of rebounds and steals, "We put a lot of emphasis on fifty-fifty balls, we really wanted to be the first one on loose balls and you saw more people dive on the balls than yesterday."
It was in the fourth quarter where the Lancers really kicked it into high gear with four players on the roster reaching double-figures in points scored in Cheyanne Roger, Carly Steer, and Kaylee Anagnostopoul. Each time the Marauders hacked away at the lead, the Lancers would put one more bucket up.
Named the Porter Airlines Player of the Game for her outstanding defensive performance was Kaylee Anagnostopoul. Anagnostopoul was all over the floor putting pressure on McMaster's guards, forcing errors and pulling steals. The first-year guard, grabbed 5 of the 16 steals and finished the game with 10 points and 5 rebounds.
"She starts for us and she's very raw," noted Vallée, about Anagnostopoul. "She's going to have to shoot more and develop her skills but what she can do on defence is what keeps her on the floor. She's only in first year, imagine what she'll be able to do in fourth or fifth year."
Another low-scoring game in this Critelli Cup tournament shed light on the top-notch defence the remaining teams in the OUA can dish out. Together, the Lancers and Marauders put on a full court press for most the game forcing errors. The Lancers snatched an impressive 16 steals away from the Marauders, five of which were courtesy of guard, Caitlyn Longmuir. Longmuir walked away with more than steals knocking down four assists and six points.
The teams took turns leading the game matching bucket for bucket and it was in the second quarter that McMaster hit the floor with the most juice. McMaster went on a roll climbing up 16-14 by two completed foul shots from Danielle Boiago, her first time on the scoreboard and the Marauders' first lead in the game. Boiago didn't show any signs of slowing down, splitting the D on the following trip down the floor to add an easy lay-up to her stats. The First Team All-Star racked up a nice team-high of 19 points, matching her point total in the semi final but adding 5 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals and a block.
A heated match between the Lancers and Marauders saw both rosters leave some skin on the floor fighting to pick up possession of the basketball. It was a display of heart and passion with a rowdy crowd adding to the soundtrack of the game.
McMaster head coach Theresa Burns, despite being unhappy with the increasing physicality of the game noted, "there's no quit in this team, I'm very proud of the fact that they compete hard for 40 minutes and won't back down against anybody." Burns explains her plans for upcoming seasons, "we've got a big nucleus of this team coming back next year and the future's still bright for us."