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McMaster scored no less than 24 in a quarter and used strong second and third quarters to secure a convincing 22-point victory over the Guelph Gryphons.
McMaster has preached that their goal is to score 24 or more per quarter while limiting their opponents to 17 or less. In terms of this metric, they reached their offensive standards in all quarters scoring 24, 25, 24 and 26 respectively. Defensively they succeeded by this measurement in the second and third quarters allowing 11 and 17 points respectively, while conceding 24 and 25 in the first and fourth quarters.
Assistant Coach Seth Wearing knows there are areas to brush up on.
“We had our moments, but we still need to be better defensively,” said Wearing. “This was the third game in a row where we’ve allowed teams to have big first and fourth quarters. We need to eliminate those bookends.”
McMaster forced 14 turnovers and capitalized scoring 23 points off those turnovers. The Marauders also got some easy scores scoring 20 fastbreak points. This team thrives when they get out in transition as it usually leads to a dunk, layup or trip to the free throw line.
“Turnovers can lead to easy scores. It’s hard enough to score in this league, so creating offense from our defense is critical to our success,” Wearing said.
Offensively, the Marauders shot 51.6 percent from the field, just under 30 percent from three, and a respectable 77.1 percent from the free throw line. Leon Alexander had 20 or more for the third time this year, Rohan Boney dropped 18, Troy Joseph added 16 and Aaron Redpath finished with ten of his own. Second-year forward Connor Gilmore scored 14 in his return from injury. This was Gilmore’s first full game of the season since he got injured right at tip-off against Brock on Nov. 4.
The offensive distribution was on point.
“Balanced scoring has been a hallmark of this team. We’re hard to prepare for because of it,” said Wearing. “When we share the ball we’re really good.”
McMaster heads into the holidays at 5-2 and on a four-game winning streak. Each of their last four victories has been by an average margin of 18.5 points. Their only two losses are to opponents nationally ranked higher than them.
“5-2 isn’t where we wanted to be but it’s where we are. Right now we’re getting better everyday and our four-game winning streak is indicative of that,” Wearing said. “We’re getting healthy and looking forward to the back half of the season. The group is excited about our opportunity.”
Similar to the other varsity teams on campus, the team will scale down from their normal regimen but the grind will still continue as exam season looms over the horizon.
“The guys stay here until exams are done. We gear down a little bit but we’ll continue to train,” said Wearing. “As student-athletes school will always be the focal point. After that they’ll go home for a few days to spend some well-deserved time with their families, but then we get back to work.”
Catch Marauders Basketball back in action on Jan. 13 when they travel to face the Waterloo Warriors. Tip-off is scheduled for 8 p.m.
Photo Credit: Jon White/Photo Editor