WINDSOR, Ont. - The McMaster men's basketball team showed some grit, by going on the long road trip to Windsor and beating the hometown Lancers 71-63 in OUA opening round playoff action on Wednesday night. The Marauders will now advance to face the top-ranked Carleton Ravens on Saturday in the quarter-finals.
Despite the late season slump that saw them lose four of their last five games, the Marauders came to play against a Windsor team that had beaten them in overtime just last week. The close loss may have helped the men in Maroon, as they looked to make amends with their second chance.
The opening quarter saw the Marauders jump in front 11-5, and after 10 minutes McMaster held a 16-12 advantage.
A quick start to the second stanza saw the Marauder lead bolt to 24-14, forcing Windsor to call an early timeout to stem the Mac momentum. The gap stayed about the same for most of the quarter, before a late Lancer push saw them close to within 31-28 at intermission.
The Marauders scored two quick hoops to start the third quarter, and Windsor Coach Chris Oliver burned another timeout to prevent a McMaster run. The Lancers seemed to settle down, and after consecutive steals that led to baskets brought them within 43-41, it looked like things were going the way of the hometeam. After 30 minutes, McMaster held a 48-45 lead.
The final quarter saw the Lancers tie the score at 50-50, but at that point Mac veteran Rohan Boney took over. Boney scored seven straight points in the decisive 17-4 McMaster scoring run, midway through the fourth quarter. With four minutes left, the Mac lead had grown to 67-54.
Windsor tried to make a late run, but there was no fourth quarter magic on this night as McMaster closed out the 8-point win. The victory avenges playoff defeats Mac suffered at the hands of the Lancers, in each of the previous two seasons.
Boney was terrific, scoring 17 and grabbing 13 boards to register the double-double. He got great support from Dave McCulloch and Connor Gilmore, who both also scored 17 points. Lancer Mike Rocca had 17 to lead Windsor.
On a night when neither team shot very well, McMaster was able to control the backboard and out-rebounded Windsor 56-42.
Now the Marauders face a daunting task, as they will head to Ottawa to play the top-ranked and defending champion Carleton Ravens. The game is scheduled for an 8-pm tip and is available on OUA.tv.
Source: McMaster Marauders