While the end result was exactly what he wanted, Amos Connolly’s debut as the Head Coach of the McMaster University Marauders certainly was exciting. And, for the University of Manitoba Bisons, a second road win in consecutive days is an impressive start to their CIS non-conference schedule.
After the Marauders jumped out to a 30-14 lead after one quarter, the visitors slowly started to claw back, eventually sending the game into overtime, before some stellar three-point shooting propelled them to a 105-102 victory.
Early on, it was all McMaster. Despite the fact the contest definitely had the look and the feel of an early pre-season game, the Maroon were able to convert on a much more regular basis, jumping out to the large lead. This, despite being without starters Victor Raso and Scott Brittain, and playing only 4 players who were in the regular rotation a year ago.
It appeared the Marauders might run away and hide, but Manitoba wouldn’t let that happen, scoring 30 second quarter points of their own, to trail 51-44 at the half.
The second half was sloppy, compared to the first, but when the Bisons needed a big shot, they seemed to get it, usually from long range. Manitoba completed the comeback early in the final quarter of regulation, but missed a chance to win it at the final buzzer.
In the extra frame, it was once again the shooting from beyond the arc that was the difference. The visitors hit two big 3’s to pull ahead. McMaster tired to come back, but Manitoba made enough free throws down the stretch to emerge with the win.
Fifth year senior Sean Maxwell (St. Paul MN) knocked down five 3’s, to lead all scorers with 25 points. Four other Bisons finished in double figures on the scoresheet.
Junior swing man Cam Michaud (Grimsby, ON) scored 24 points for the Marauders, in addition to 7 rebounds. Fellow junior Scott Laws (Gormley, ON) tallied 20 points. Forward Nathan Pelech (Mississauga, ON), who was an injury redshirt a year ago, provided a spark off the bench in the first half, contributing 16 points (including 4 3-pointers).
The Marauders return to action on Sunday, October 10th when they face the University of the Fraser Valley Cascades, a team who will be a big factor in Canada West. The action tips off at 1:00.