Marauders close gap in basketball race

rp_primary_Western___MAC__M__44Still fighting for second place in the Ontario University Athletics’ West, the McMaster men’s basketball team went to Laurier on Wednesday night (Jan. 30) and defeated the Golden Hawks, 90-65. The win left Mac in third place with 18 points, two back of Lakehead.

Laurier entered play short-handed as forward Pat Donnelly was serving a suspension and not in uniform. Recognizing the Hawks were pretty young in the post, the Marauders went to the inside game with both Taylor Black and Nathan McCarthy having success.

The first quarter ended with McMaster on top, 18-11, but without starting guard Aaron Redpath, who suffered a lower body injury and went to the sidelines early in the game.

Scoring picked up in the second quarter with Black continuing to have his way inside. Laurier got production from scoring stars Max Allin and Wil Coulthard but little from anyone else. Back-to-back dunks by Black late in the quarter got the Maroon fans in attendance fired up and the lead at halftime was 43-33.

The Marauders kept forcing the ball inside in the second half with Black and McCarthy either scoring or drawing fouls. The Marauder lead went to 19 before a late charge by Laurier brought it back to 64-51 with seconds left in the third quarter, but Rohan Boney drained a long three-pointer as time expired and the deficit for Laurier after three periods was 16 points.

The Marauders scored the first seven points of the fourth quarter to quash any prospects of a Hawk comeback. McMaster was able to use some of its substitutes, while Laurier struggled offensively. Allin and Coulthard scored but their shooting percentages were off their usual numbers, allowing McMaster to build the lead up to 29 points. After both teams cleared their benches, the final Mac margin of victory was 25.

Taylor Black scored a career high 28 and grabbed eight boards, while McCarthy had a solid 19 points and nine rebound effort. Boney scored 17 off the bench, while Joe Rocca continued his steady play, dropping 14 for the game. Coulthard, with 28, and Allin, with 23, paced the Hawks on this night.

Now at 9-7 in division play, the Marauders will head to London on Saturday (Feb. 2) for a date with the 2-14 Western Mustangs.