The McMaster men’s basketball team fell to the Waterloo Warriors, 95-94, at the Burridge Gymnasium on Saturday afternoon.
Kenan Etale (Dundas) had 18 points, six rebounds and four assists in the loss as the Marauders played their final regular season game prior to a home playoff date against the Western Mustangs in Ontario University Athletics.
The first quarter was evenly matched as the lead changed hands several times before the Warriors would take a lead of five points, 21-16, going into the second quarter. Scott Laws (Gormley) would continue to draw fouls for the Marauders and the home team would take a lead of just one point at halftime.
In the third, the Marauders came out flying, scoring 30 points and at one time had a 12 point lead. Matthew Wilusz (Hamilton) was big on the boards for McMaster with 12 and Victor Raso (Hamilton) contributed 15 points off the bench.
The Marauders built a 10 point lead to start the fourth quarter and looked like they might pull away, but the Warriors stayed in it. Waterloo’s Jordan Hannah (Kitchener) had a game-high 24 points for the Warriors and would lead the charge in the game’s final minutes.
After Waterloo tied it up at 77, the Marauders would go on an 11-0 run to move ahead 88-77 with a little more than three minutes to play.
With McMaster up by nine, 91-82, with two and a half minutes to go the Warriors kept cutting into the Marauder lead and would get to within four. After McMaster made a free throw to make it 94-88, Alan Goodhoofd (Oakville) would hit a jumper, and Luke Kieswetter would grab the steal on the ensuing possession setting up a Hannah three pointer that cut the McMaster lead to just one, 94-93.
Waterloo would then foul Jordan Tew (Greensville) who would miss both free throws with 11 seconds to go. Waterloo would grab the rebound and scramble to the other end to get a shot off. Wayne Bridge (North York) would pick up the ball and hit a jumper with less than two seconds left on the clock to give Waterloo the 95-94 victory.
Laws scored double digits in the loss with 15 points as well as Nathan Pelech (Mississauga) with 10.
Goodhoofd was a big factor in Waterloo’s win with 22 points and 17 rebounds for a double-double performance.
The Marauders will now host division rival Western Mustangs on Wednesday, Feb. 23 in a first playoff game. Tip is 7 p.m.