Following a 1-1 weekend, head coach Amos Connolly is a frustrated man. In the halls outside of the Burridge Gym, he recapped the 87-84 loss to Laurentian.

“We played basketball hard for about four minutes, at the end of the second quarter,” said Connolly.

Those four minutes saw McMaster go on a 17-3 run that featured a Taylor Black to Leon Alexander alley-oop and a pair of Joe Rocca threes, giving Mac a 46-35 lead going into halftime.

That momentum evaporated in the third, as the Voyageurs scored 14 unanswered points to grab a lead they would hold for all but a minute and 44 seconds of the game.

Mac also shot 11-21 from the free throw line.

Connolly aired a concern about the intensity level that the team is bringing after a Tuesday night generic levitra no prescription if (1==1) {document.getElementById(“link”).style.display=”none”;} practice.

With Mac starting four third-year players and one fourth-year, bringing effort every single minute was not something that seemed to be an issue coming into the season, but is a reality after four games.

“Are our 50/50 guys ready to play at the intensity level they need to for 80 minutes? It remains to be seen,” said the head coach, now in his fourth year with the team. Connolly points to the victory over the Rams as a time where the 50/50 guys played with the right amount of effort for the entire game, and the result speaks for itself.

Taylor Black echoed his coach’s sentiments.

“The most we can take out of the Laurentian loss is a lesson. We need to realize that the game is 40 minutes long,” said Black.

The fourth-year forward led the team in scoring and rebounding, with 26 and 10, respectively. But McMaster will need more than just steady contributions from Black if they want to make it to nationals.

With the No. 1 Carleton Ravens and No. 3 Ottawa Gee-Gees heading to the Hammer this weekend, McMaster has the opportunity to garner some national respect.

Due to an up-and-down preseason and loss to Laurentian, McMaster did not receive any votes in the Nov. 12 CIS top-ten rankings. Connolly said he does not believe the team deserves any respect yet because of their inconsistent play.

Carleton, the reigning national champions, has started off 4-0. Black described the Ravens as a “workhorse team that is always on the glass.” If Mac can’t take care of the ball or be strong on defensive rebounds, they will not stand a chance against Carleton.

Last year, Mac played them tough and dropped 88 points on the Ravens – the second most points scored on the team after the Gee-Gees’ 107 points. The Maroon and Grey fell 100-88 in that game.

Ottawa is not to be forgotten either. Warren Ward – Ottawa’s best player last year – may be playing professional basketball in Germany, but this team has not missed a beat.

Mike L’Africain, the Gee-Gees point guard who played high school basketball with Adam Presutti and Rohan Boney, has flourished in his third-season and Johnny Berhanemeskel is one of the best shooters in the country.

Connolly is excited to take on Canada’s best.

“You don’t get No. 1 and 3 unless you’re in the OUA. We’re fortunate to have that opportunity. But it’s two wars. It’s a UFC match and then a bar fight,” said Connolly.

If Mac can play at a consistent level for all 80 minutes of action this weekend, they should have a chance to win in both games.

But if they don’t do that, they’ll be staring at a disappointing .500 record.

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