The McMaster men’s basketball team got a good look at how a national champion plays and while it pushed the Carleton Ravens at times, the defending title holders beat the Marauders, 82-64, in opening round action at the Canadian Interuniversity Sport Final-8 in Ottawa on Friday (March 7).
McMaster played well enough to let the Ravens know this would not be a pushover game, but too many lapses by Mac allowed Carleton to lead from start to finish. Allowing Carleton to jump in front 8-0 to start the game likely wasn’t part of the game plan for McMaster, but the Marauders fought back from that point to play dead-even for the rest of the first half. The deficit was eight after one quarter at 25-17.
In the second quarter, McMaster had some success from behind the three-point line, and a trey by Adam Presutti made the score 30-29 and had the fans at the Canadian Tire Centre looking a little worried. But Carleton showed why it is the dominant program in Canada and by halftime , had built the lead back up to 43-35.
McMaster gave up the first bucket of the third quarter, putting Carleton up by 10 but then started to exert a little control of its own. The Marauders trimmed the deficit down to 51-48 but after a missed Carleton free throw was bobbled back to the Ravens for a score, the momentum shifted. Instead of being down three with the ball, McMaster was down five and cursing its bad luck. The Ravens took advantage and finished the quarter on a 10-2 run to lead 63-50 heading to the final stanza.
Carleton started the fourth quarter going inside to All-Canadian Tyson Hinz and he scored six quick points to get the lead up to 18. The Marauders had one final run in them and behind some inside work from Leon Alexander and three-pointers from Joe Rocca and Trevon McNeil got the deficit to 12, but could get no closer.
Credit the Marauders for competing hard for the entire game, but against a seasoned team like Carleton the men in Maroon learned that good teams make you pay for your mistakes.
It was not a great shooting day for McMaster as the team only made 36% of its field goal attempts and shot just 10 of 20 (50%) from the charity stripe. Leon Alexander, with 14, and Aaron Redpath, with 10, were the leading scorers for the Marauders. Carleton got 21 from Phil Scrubb and 20 from Tom Scrubb as the brothers did the most damage on the day. Carleton will play third-seed Alberta in a semi-final.
The Marauders will now move to the consolation bracket and will play the AUS champion Saint Mary’s Huskies on Saturday at 12:30 p.m. The game is available on the internet at www.cis-sic.tv