McMaster has advanced to the Ontario University Athletics men’s basketball Final Four with a 77-67 win over the Windsor Lancers on Friday (Feb. 24). Absent from the Final Four scene since 2006-07, the Marauders will have a shot at the Ontario University Athletic men’s basketball title next weekend in Waterloo.
The Marauders would come out on fire, scoring the first six points of the game. Windsor would quickly make the effort to get back in it with a couple of jump shots and a free throw to come back at 6-5.
The quarter would Marauders on the board and up by five with a score of 15-12.
Both teams, seemingly evenly matched, battled it out in the second. Responding to each teams’ baskets through the beginning of the quarter, McMaster maintained its slight lead until pulling pulled away around the five minute mark, earning back their six point lead from the beginning of the game at 26-20.
After a McMaster timeout, the Marauders would continue to sink baskets in the second half of the quarter. Aaron Redpath would sink his fifth basket of the game for 10 points, helping extend McMaster’s lead to nine, 32-23.
Following another timeout, Windsor would make a comeback, scoring two threes and a jumper for an 8-0 run to get within one of the Marauders’ lead. Fortunately, a lay-up from Nathan McCarthy and a three-pointer made by Adam Presutti in the dying seconds of the quarter would give McMaster the 37-33 lead at half.
The second half started off shaky for the Marauders, with Windsor going on a 7-0 run, allowing them to take the lead. The home team would tie it up, and take the lead again with two free throws made by Redpath at 41-40.
After that, both teams would fight for the lead, with Windsor up by three, before a three-pointer from Joe Rocca would tie up once again. Both teams would head into the last quarter with 51 points.
The Marauders came out in the fourth with a quick five points, with a three-pointer from Rocca followed by a lay-up from Taylor Black, forcing Windsor to call an early timeout. McMaster would go up by seven points at 60-53, but the Lancers would come back, keeping the score close throughout the fourth.
At the 3:30 mark, Lancer and high-scorer for Windsor, Enrico Diloreto, would get a technical foul for mouthing off to the refs. It would be his fifth foul, and would sit him on the bench for the remainder of the game.
With both teams flirting with the lead, a timeout would be called with 1:19 left in the game with the Marauders up by one with a score of 68-67, thanks to Rocca. The Marauders would then go on a run of 5 points to regain the lead.
The last 30 seconds of the game were filled with fouls and free throws as both teams were in bonus, and the Marauders would go on to win it and advance to the OUA Final Four.
Rookie Aaron Redpath had a game-high 21 points in the win. Rookie Joe Rocca and veteran Cam Michaud joined him in double-digit numbers with 15 points each. Rookie Adam Presutti had nine points and six assists.
For Windsor, Diloreto and Josh Collins had 13 points each. Evan Matthews, Rotimi Osuntola Jr. and Lien Phillip all recorded 11 more for the Lancers.
The Marauders will head to Waterloo next weekend to face a to-be-determined opponent in one of two OUA Semifinals.