The McMaster men’s basketball team celebrated returning to the friendly confines of the Burridge Gym by defeating the visiting Acadia Axemen, 79-62, in non-conference action Friday night (Oct. 18).
The Marauders used the long ball right from the start to get up on the Axemen as Aaron Redpath nailed two three-point shots and Taylor Black hit another trey to jump out to a 9-0 lead. McMaster built the lead to 13-2 before Acadia started to find its legs and chip down the Mac advantage. Yet McMaster continued to hit from long range, with Joe Rocca, Nate Pelech and Adam Presutti all connecting from behind the arc before the end of the first quarter.
McMaster held a 25-15 lead after one period.
The second quarter saw the teams play fairly even, as the Maroon’s biggest lead was 14, but by halftime Acadia was within 11 at 44-33.
McMaster started the third quarter on an 11-2 run, sparked by another trey from Redpath, who then stole an inbounds pass and scored a deuce to force Acadia into calling a timeout with the lead now 55-35. The Marauders continued to fire from deep with Pelech and Presutti draining treys in the third. The lead grew to 26 at one point and at the end of the third Acadia faced a 67-44 deficit.
The final quarter saw Acadia look to All-Canadian Owen Klassen to lead a comeback attempt, but the Marauders were able to maintain a fairly comfortable margin through the final period and Acadia could get no closer than the final 17-point margin.
Klassen was a handful for the McMaster posts and ended up with a double-double of 23 points and 11 rebounds. He went to the free-throw line 19 times and made 13 for the game. He was the only Axemen player to score in double figures.
McMaster was led by Redpath with 15, while Black and Presutti each dropped 14, Pelech added 12 on four three-pointers, and Leon Alexander chipped in 11. As a team, McMaster made 12 of 35 from behind the arc, while Acadia was only two of 12.
McMaster has one non-conference event left before Ontario University Athletics play starts and will travel to play in the Laval Tournament next week. The OUA season starts on Friday, Nov. 1 when the Marauders will welcome the Toronto Varsity Blues to the Burridge Gym.