The McMaster Marauder men’s basketball team fell to the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks Thursday night (Feb. 3) on the road.
McMaster’s hard fought effort was not enough to over take the No. 10 nationally ranked Hawks as the Marauders fall to 8-9 on the season and remain in fifth place in the Ontario University Athletics West division tied with the Brock Badgers and the Western Mustangs.
McMaster’s first basket came in the form of a three pointer on the very first play of the game thanks to Cam Michaud (Grimsby) but Laurier would answer right back with a three of their own. At 9:04 the Marauders picked up a nice steal and slammed it down for the first dunk of the game. By 6:01, the Marauders were looking good and up by six on the Hawks.
Near the four minute mark McMaster began to make mistakes and the Hawks continued to capitalize. Laurier tied the score at 17-17 with a jumper from Kale Harrison (Stratford) and the Marauders were trail from that point. The quarter would end 26-17 in favour of the home team and Michaud would be the leading scorer of the quarter with 11.
In the second, things worsened for McMaster as the Hawks took their biggest lead of the game halfway through the quarter. McMaster would try to fight back with a lay up from Michaud and drives by Scott Laws (Gormley) but Laurier would not give up as the point spread changed several times within the last minutes before half. At 2:35, Victor Raso (Hamilton) would make a three and Jordan Tew (Greensville) would follow up with another to cut Laurier’s lead to six with a score of 48-42 going into the second half. McMaster improved its field goal percentage from 31% in the first to 43% in the second quarter. Michaud ended the half with 18 points.
The Hawks came out strong in the third quarter and began with a three and two baskets to stretch their lead to 13 again. After a timeout called by coach Amos Connolly, McMaster would come out flying with a nice tip in from Laws. Kenan Etale (Dundas) would drive and force the and one at 6:35 to bring the score within eight. The Marauders continued to come back as a jumper by Laws would bring the score to 57-54. The momentum would continue to shift back and forth as both teams fought for the lead and it would be Laurier that would widen the gap with three baskets. Harrison, now with 25 points on the night would make a jumper to put Laurier up by 8 with 2:20 to go. Less than a minute later, Michaud would go to the line twice and make three of four shots. The score would be 74-65 by the end of the third and the Hawks would be out-rebounding the Marauders 42-25.
After being down by a margin of 11 at the beginning of the fourth, the Marauders would surge as Etale would draw two fouls within ten seconds and lessen the gap by eight. Laurier wouldn’t make it easy for the Marauders though, as they would respond with a three. As the halfway mark of the fourth neared, Michaud would continue to drive and draw fouls and would bring the score to within five points.
A big three by Raso would get the Marauders going but once again Laurier would respond with two completed free throws and a layup. After a missed layup the Marauders would be down by eight and would not by able to recover from the gap as the Hawks took the game with a final score of 97-89.
Michaud scored a game high 30 points for the Marauders. Three other Marauders scored in double digits on the night including Etale with 22, Laws with 15 and Raso with 14 off the bench.
For the Hawks, Harrison, the league’s current leading scorer, had 27 on the night. Maxwell Allin (Chatham) had 28 points and 10 rebounds for the double-double and Sharif Wanas (Burlington) recorded 15 points and eight rebounds.
The Marauders are back in action on Saturday afternoon (Feb. 5) when they take on the Brock Badgers.