Always a difficult road trip, the McMaster men’s basketball team went to Windsor on Wednesday (Jan. 23) and dropped an 80-73 decision to the Ontario University Athletics’ first-place Lancers.
The first quarter saw the Lancers jump in front 8-4 but the Marauders fought back to keep it close and grabbed a 19-17 lead before giving up two late baskets to end the period trailing 21-19.
Windsor came out in the second and scored the first seven points to extend the lead to nine before a Marauder timeout settled things down. The teams played even for the rest of the quarter, but the Lancers took the nine-point advantage into halftime, 38-29.
As in their previous meeting, Windsor applied full court pressure the entire half, making it tough for Mac to advance the ball and leaving them with a short shot-clock to run the offense.
The second half truly became a game of runs as the Lancers bumped the lead up to 15 in the third quarter before McMaster fought back to a nine point deficit by the end of the quarter at 58-49. Missed free throws by the Marauders in the third could have made the score even closer and that fact will, no doubt, be on the collective team mind.
With 10 minutes to go in the game, the Lancers seemed to be in control and were content to trade baskets while keeping the pressure on. Again Windsor’s lead grew to 15 before the Marauders would claw back to make it interesting. A late surge in the last two minutes got Mac within four points, but Windsor’s Josh Collins was money from the charity stripe and the Marauders ran out of time.
Top Marauder shooter was Joe Rocca with 19 points, while grabbing 12 rebounds for his first career double-double. Scott Laws added 18, while Taylor Black scored 16 for Mac.
Lien Phillip led Windsor with 16.
Neither team shot well for the game, although Mac made 9-of-26 three-point attempts (35%), which helped keep things close. However, the charity stripe was anything but charitable on this night as Mac only made 8-of-17 free throws (47%).
Up next for the Maroon is a Marauder Weekend contest against the Brock Badgers on Saturday (Jan. 26) afternoon. Game time at the Burridge Gym is 2 p.m.