Marauder promises better showing after third place finish

(Photo: Yusaif Naddad/McMaster Athletics)

(Photo: Yusaif Naddad/McMaster Athletics)

The McMaster Marauders claimed bronze with a 93-89 overtime victory over the Windsor Lancers at the Ontario University Athletics Wilson Cup Men’s Basketball Final Four Championship at Ryerson University on Saturday (March 1).

Porter Airlines Player of the Game Leon Alexander scored 21 points, connecting on seven of 15 from the field and a perfect seven-for-seven on free throws.

“The win today means a lot,” Alexander said. “A lot of guys were crushed after last night’s (Friday’s) loss, which I think was purely off of nerves. Today we showed everyone how we can play, and this still isn’t us at our best. We’ll show everyone what we’re capable of at nationals.”

Trevon McNeil led McMaster scorers with 23 points, including his final of three, three-pointers with 8.7 seconds remaining in regulation that pushed the game into an extra frame. Adam Presutti, who posted 13 points in the game, dominated the extra frame with eight points, including a pair of three-pointers and two free throws.

Aaron Redpath rounded out McMaster’s double-digit scorers with 18 points.

Rotimi Osuntola Jr. dominated the losing squad’s statistics, amassing 23 points, including 10 field goals, and 11 rebounds. His scoring output was followed by Josh Collins (17 points), Lien Phillip (14 points) and Enrico Diloreto (11 points).

The two squads fought to a draw in the first frame, standing deadlocked at 20 points apiece after the first 10 minutes. Windsor opened up a lead in the early minutes of the second quarter, taking a 30-23 lead with a trio of field goals in quick succession by Osuntola. McMaster did not let Windsor open a wider gap, fighting back to within two points, but Windsor entered the intermission with a seven-point, 43-36 advantage.

Windsor capitalized on free throw opportunities in the opening half, connecting on nine of 14 attempts, while McMaster had just two free throws in the opening 20 minutes, sinking one. Windsor turned the ball over 14 times in the first half, against seven for McMaster.

McMaster chipped away at Windsor’s lead in the third quarter, ahead 56-53, but ended the third quarter trailing 61-60. Windsor maintained a tenuous lead through the fourth quarter, until McNeil sunk a three-pointer with 8.7 seconds remaining to give McMaster an 81-79 lead. The Lancer’s Josh Collins then connected on a pair of free throws with seven-tenths of a second remaining in regulation, forcing the game into overtime.

With the win, McMaster earns a berth in the Canadian Interuniversity Sport championship tournament at Carleton next weekend.