For the second straight game, McMaster men’s basketball team jumped all over their opponent from the start, building a big lead and cruising to a 78-61 win over the Western Mustangs on Saturday (Jan 25) in Ontario University Athletics.
It was a solid team effort by the Marauders who led the Mustangs 20-9 after one quarter and, extended the advantage to 43-21 by halftime, McMaster had things working inside and outside. The Marauders held Western to 23% shooting from the floor over the first 20 minutes. Rohan Boney brought the crowd to life with a spectacular alley-oop jam in the second quarter that was one of several highlight reel plays.
Playing with a lead hasn’t always been easy for the Marauders, but the third quarter saw them maintain their margin, while matching Western’s attempt to play a more physical style in hopes of coming back. Western did pickup it’s shooting in the third and behind Eric McDonald and Greg Morrow played a much better quarter. McMaster still won the period by a point, leaving Western facing a 23-point deficit with one quarter left.
Even with liberal substitutions by McMaster in the final quarter, Western could only chisel the lead down slightly and the Marauders were able to get everyone some floor time on their way to the 17-point victory.
Marauder Joe Rocca missed his first three-point shot of the game and did not miss again from long-range, making four of five from beyond the arc. His 15 points topped the scoring parade and saw him recognized as the BIG MAC player of the game. Both Taylor Black and Nathan McCarthy had double-double efforts on the day, with 13 points and 12 rebounds for Black, and 12 and 10 for McCarthy. Western’s Eric McDonald led the Mustangs with 16.
McMaster dominated the glass, grabbing 48 rebounds to Western’s 27.
The win for the Marauders was their 10th straight in OUA play and maintains their first-place position in the West Division.
Next up is a traditionally tough trip to face the Lakehead Thunderwolves in Thunder Bay. The Marauders will play games at Lakehead on Jan. 31 and Feb. 1st.