It is a cross-town rivalry that McMaster has dominated but in 2013 the Mohawk College Mountaineers got the better of the Marauders men’s basketball team with an 86-82 exhibition game at Mohawk’s new athletic centre.
With a good crowd enjoying the new gym, Mohawk jumped to a 9-0 lead before Marauder Aaron Redpath got McMaster on the scoreboard with a pair of free throws. The Marauders continued to trim the early deficit but Mohawk held the lead through the first period and had a 22-17 advantage after one quarter.
Expected to be a contender in the Ontario Colleges Athletic Association ranks, Mohawk continued to take the game to McMaster and built up a 32-21 advantage in the second quarter for its biggest lead of the game. The Marauders, who play in Ontario University Athletics, had trouble scoring against Mohawk’s 2-3 zone, and while they cut into the margin, they still trailed 40-36 at halftime.
The third quarter saw McMaster take its first lead of the game when Adam Presutti’s three-point shot put Mac in front 46-44. But Mohawk continued to play strong and at the end of the third, the Mountaineers were back in front, 69-61.
With just over six minutes left in the game, Mohawk held a 76-66 advantage, but some McMaster pressure led to Mohawk turning the ball over and McMaster was able to close to within a single possession at 85-82. The Marauders had two chances to hit a game-tying three-pointer to force overtime but could not connect, and a Mohawk free throw provided the final margin.
McMaster got a solid double-double effort from Nathan McCarthy with 22 points and 10 boards, while Joe Rocca chipped in 17. Mohawk’s Matt Fennel was game high with 23 points. Andrew Cicuttini had 16 points and 10 rebounds.
The Marauders were again cold from the perimeter against an opponent that forced them to shoot from the outside, making only six of 32 attempts from beyond the arc. Mohawk also won the battle of the boards, out-rebounding the Maroon 51-44.
McMaster will now head west for games at the University of Calgary, Oct. 10-12, and are at home for a game against the Acadia Axemen on Oct. 18 with a 7 p.m. tip in the Burridge Gym.