The Marauders successful holiday showing faltered at the final hurdle.
McMaster was beaten, 71-66, by the Ryerson Rams in Sunday’s (Dec. 30) championship game of the Ryerson University National Invitational Tournament. With the win, the Canadian Interuniversity Sport No. 9-ranked Rams remain unbeaten since conference play began in November.
Scott Laws finished with 18 points to lead the Marauders on Sunday, converting eight of his 14 shooting attempts and adding seven rebounds. Aaron Redpath and Nathan Pelech also broke into double-digits in scoring, notching 12 and 11 points respectively.
Jahmal Jones paced the Rams with 19 points on eight of 16 from the field.
Ryerson powered into an early 17-7 lead in the opening quarter on the strength of the three-pointer and a consistent ability to score off the drive. The Rams continued to dominate the first, and Laws’ floater to end the quarter still left McMaster with a 12-point deficit, 22-10.
The hosts showed no sign of slackening their pace in the second quarter, and the Marauders’ inability to find their shooting touch helped the Rams to maintain their wide advantage. Nem Stankovic’s work down low for the Rams netted him 11 points in the half, and teammate Jahmal Jones posted an identical total as Ryerson led 36-34 at the interval. Scott Laws paced the Marauders at the break with nine points on four of seven shooting.
McMaster struck quickly out of the locker room, as an Adam Presutti triple and contested jumper from Redpath reduced the deficit to seven points. The momentum had certainly swung in the Marauders’ favour, and a Nathan McCarthy jumper brought the visitors within a point at 38-37. Ryerson took advantage of three costly turnovers to restore a comfortable lead at 50-40, with two minutes remaining in the third. The Rams held firm and ended the quarter with a 53-42 advantage after the earlier scare.
The trend continued early in the final quarter, before a seven-point run triggered by a three-point play from Redpath brought the Marauders within six points at 62-56 with five minutes remaining. McMaster came within four points of the hosts before the game’s end, but could never completely close the gap.
The Marauders return to conference play on Thursday, Jan.3, when they travel to St. Catharines to battle the Brock Badgers.