Clean-slate Marauders OUA men’s team for January

An unblemished seven game record for the month of January has earned the McMaster Marauders men’s basketball squad Ontario University Athletics team of the month honours.

(Photo: Rick Zazulak/McMaster Athletics)

(Photo: Rick Zazulak/McMaster Athletics)

The Marauder men’s basketball team solidified its place atop the OUA west standings, and ended the month ranked sixth nationally.

McMaster comfortably knocked off several division rivals over that span, winning its six games by an average of 19 points. A dominant return to conference play on Jan. 8 saw the Marauders best the Brock Badgers, 95-59, on the road, before returning to the Burridge Gym for a pivotal matchup with the Windsor Lancers.

There, McMaster edged Windsor by two points in an instant classic on Jan. 11. The Marauders were rewarded for that effort in the top-ten poll of Jan. 14, where McMaster rose from No. 8 to No. 6. Heavy victories over the Waterloo Warriors (88-69), Laurier Golden Hawks (87-69) and Guelph Gryphons (88-59) followed on the road. The Marauders enjoyed a 78-61 home win over the Western Mustangs on Jan. 25, before travelling to Thunder Bay for a weekend doubleheader against the Lakehead Thunderwolves. There, McMaster secured its first sweep of the Thunderwolves in Thunder Bay since the 2005-06 season, with 85-74 and 101-64 wins on Jan. 31 and Feb. 1.

The Marauders are riding a 12-game conference winning streak that dates back to Nov. 22.

The female team of the month award went to the Guelph Gryphons hockey squad.

In January, the Gryphons scored 25 goals while allowing a measly four against. Three Gryphons sit in the top five of OUA scoring. Christine Grant (Mississauga) has 33 points (12G, 21A) and sits second in the league. She is followed closely by teammates Jessica Pinkerton (Oshawa) and Amanda Parkins (Kitchener) who are third and fourth in OUA scoring with 30 and 30 points, respectively.

Stephanie Nehring (Oshawa) leads the Gryphons between the pipes. Nehring has excelled this season, posting a 1.17 GAA and 0.941 save percentage. She leads OUA in shutouts with a tally of seven on the season.