It was a physical challenge but the McMaster men’s basketball team met the Guelph Gryphons on Wednesday evening at the Burridge Gym and pulled away in the second half for a 91-65 Ontario University Athletics victory.
The Marauders have been getting great production from the post tandem of Taylor Black and Nathan McCarthy and that was the story early in the game as McMaster built a 10-point lead behind its twin towers at 27-17. McCarthy, with eight, and Black, with six, both had good starts against the Gryphons.
Guelph picked up its play in the second quarter and got a spark off the bench from rookie Trevor Thompson. The Marauders matched the Gryphons and by the halftime break had actually gone up by 11 at 46-35.
The third quarter was all Maroon as Black and McCarthy continued to play well but it was a balanced Mac attack that won the quarter by 14 and bumped up the lead to 25 heading to the fourth.
In the final quarter, some zone defense by Guelph got the Marauders a little out of sync, and a technical on the Marauder bench allowed Guelph to close to within 16.
But then Joe Roca started to heat up for the Maroon and some full court pressure resulted in some easy baskets, restoring the Marauder lead and allowing Mac to close out the 26-point win.
Top shooter for Mac on this night was Black with 20, but the BIG MAC player of the game was McCarthy for his 16-point and 13-rebound double-double effort. Rocca scored 16, while Adam Presutti chipped in 10 for the Marauders. Thompson and Kareem Malcolm both scored 13 for Guelph.
Shooting-wise McMaster made 53% of its shots, while Guelph was only 36% from the floor. The Marauders won the battle of the boards 42-26.
McMaster now goes to 11-7 in the OUA West and will welcome Waterloo to the Burridge Gym Saturday (Feb. 9) with a 3 p.m. tipoff.