It was Shoot for the Cure day at McMaster, and the Marauder men’s basketball team was feeling in the pink after defeating the Western Mustangs 86-62 on Saturday afternoon.
McMaster came out flying to start the game, scoring the first eight points before Western called a time-out to slow the Mac momentum. Finding their leading scorer Peter Scholtes for some easy scores got the Mustangs back into the game and by the end of the quarter, McMaster was on top 19-15.
Western continued to play well in the second quarter, and McMaster, playing without injured guard Adam Presutti, struggled to find its rhythm. The Mustangs controlled the tempo for most of the second stanza and by halftime, Mac only held a 31-29 advantage.
Coming out for the third quarter, the Marauders stepped up the intensity and a 7-0 run early in the quarter created a cushion that the team carried for the rest of the period. By the end of the third, McMaster had extended the lead to 58-47.
Sensing a dip in Western spirits, McMaster continued to apply pressure to start the fourth quarter and saw the lead grow to 72-52 with six minutes left. Western tried to stop the bleeding but the Marauders found open shooters and allowed the Mustangs very few second-chance scoring opportunities before both teams cleared their benches to end the game, with Mac winning 86-62.
Top shooter for the Marauders was Joe Rocca, who dropped a tidy 19 on six of ten shooting. Nate Pelech just missed a double-double with 16 and nine rebounds and was named the BIG MAC player of the game. Other strong Maroon efforts came from Rohan Boney with 14 points and Taylor Black with 13. McMaster crushed the smaller Mustangs in the battle of the boards by 48-22.
With its win streak up to four, McMaster improves to 6 and 5 in the OUA West. Next challenge for the Maroon is a home game versus first-place Windsor on Wednesday, January 16th at 8 p.m.