Win gives Mac free pass to playoffs

Nathan McCarthy and the Marauders are playoff-bound. (Photo: Cameron Dunlop)

The McMaster men ended their 2011-12 basketball regular season on a high note, bringing down the Laurier Golden Hawks, 93-67, and finishing second in the OUA West. With the big win for second place, the Marauders earn themselves a bye in the first round of the playoffs and will advance to the quarter-finals.

The first quarter ended 18-17 in favour of the home Marauders.

Both teams went on the offensive in the second quarter. Taylor Black, who started the game’s scoring for Mac, had a hot hand with 13 points at just the 7:00 mark of the period. McMaster would build on its lead from the first and half way through the second quarter, the Marauders were ahead, 30-23. Rookie Adam Presutti made his presence felt with 12 points and four rebounds with four minutes to go until half. McMaster would continue to push and increased the margin to 35-26.

The Marauders put up a 13-0 run, with the Hawks unable to make a play on offense and unable to make a stop on defence. A number of players contributed for McMaster in the second quarter, including Nathan Pelech with a three-pointer and rookie Aaron Redpath with some nice jumpers. The score at half time would have the Marauders up by 21 at 49-28.

Half way through the third, the Hawks started scoring but the Marauders responded, maintaining their 20-plus point lead. Black’s dunk early on would give the home team momentum to keep switching it up on the offensive and both Black and Presutti would have 19 points at 4:00 in the third.

Laurier would call a timeout at 1:25 in the third, but the Marauders 27 point lead was untouchable until the end of the quarter with the Marauders up 76-49.

In the fourth, despite the Hawks outscoring the Marauders 19-17, it clearly wasn’t enough as the final score would read 93-67 in favour of the home team. McMaster’s final record for the regular season would be 17-5.

Black finished the game with 19 points and seven rebounds. Presutti scored 19, Cam Michaud and Redpath each dropped 12 points and Satar Wahidi would lead the Marauders in rebounds with eight.

For Laurier, Kale Harrison led the Hawks with 16 points. William Coulthard was the only other Hawk to get into double-digits scoring 11 and grabbing six rebounds.

The Marauders will host an OUA quarter-final playoff game at Burridge Gymnasium on Saturday, Feb. 25.