The McMaster men’s basketball team defeated the Lakehead Thunderwolves, 85-74, at the C-J Sanders Fieldhouse on Friday night (Jan. 31).
The Marauders have been making a habit out of fast starts that force opponents to play from behind and this Ontario University Athletics game was no exception. Using a blistering fast break and some long range shooting from Aaron Redpath and Nate Pelech, the men in Maroon held a lead of 25-14 after one quarter and boosted the advantage to 47-31 by halftime.
Lakehead stepped up the intensity in the third quarter but could get no closer than 14 when Redpath hit a long trey at the buzzer to give McMaster a 69-52 lead. It was his third long distance goal of the quarter.
As has happened in the past, the Marauders’ intensity started to wane in the final quarter and Lakehead took advantage. A 10-point run by the Wolves got them within seven points with five minutes remaining. But McMaster responded and behind two more three-pointers from Joe Rocca and some solid free throw shooting, the lead went back to 15. Lakehead was able to close to 11 but time ran out on the Thunderwolves.
Top shooter for McMaster was Redpath, who finished with 22, points including four three-pointers. Nathan McCarthy scored 14 and Joe Rocca chipped in 12 for the Maroon, while Taylor Black just missed a double-double with 9 points and 15 rebounds. Lakehead was led by Anthony McIntosh with 19.
McMaster won the battle of the boards, 41-33.
The Marauders improve to 14-3 to lead the OUA West, while Lakehead falls to 6-11 and holds the final playoff spot in sixth place. The win was the 11th straight for McMaster and completes an undefeated month of January.
The teams will tangle again on Saturday with an 8 p.m. tip-off as McMaster goes for the series sweep.