In sport, time is universally understood to bring order to an otherwise chaotic competition. In basketball, there is a 24 second shot clock and four 10-minute quarters. There are time-outs and a half time.
Since the season started back in November, the clock has been ticking for the McMaster Men’s Basketball team. The team has played 18 games from then until present and now more than ever before, how the team uses their time will determine how much time they have left in their postseason.
Over reading week, the Marauders had a busy two weeks with four games that were crucial to their national ranking.
On the first weekend — the Think Pink Weekend — two of Canada’s teams best visited Burridge Gym.
For many fans of Ontario university basketball, Ottawa and Carleton are known national powerhouses.
In a packed gym filled with basketball fans and supporters of the McMaster Men’s Basketball program, the energy was an added bonus for the team. Big plays resulted in loud cheers from the crowd and McMaster came out that night with a 96-90 victory over the Ottawa Gee-Gees. Troy Joseph led the team with 30 points for the night.
“His attitude, work ethic and commitment level in practice and games has been great,” said Head Coach Amos Connolly.
There was no doubt that it was a huge win for the team to beat an opponent ranked higher than them.
However, the game was followed by a 74-65 loss to Carleton the following night.
This past weekend, the Marauders played Nipissing and Laurentian and were able to run away with wins for both games.
While the usual rotation of players have been able to produce for the team, the bench has also been essential.
“We talk about the guys on the floor playing for the people on the bench and the bench supporting the people on the court,” said Connolly.
Everything that has happened this season is now in the past. Sure, the wins and losses are still documented but it cannot be dwelled on.
The way previous seasons have ended is a bittersweet memory, but the 20-deep roster knows that they are making their own future.
On Wednesday Feb. 24, the team travelled to St. Catherines to compete with OUA rival, Brock Badgers. The Marauders last played the Badgers at Burridge Gym in November and lost 83-75.
“The game in November is more about the rivalry and this game is more about playoff implications,” said Connolly.
While the noise of an arena that can seat 5,300 people can bring an unwelcoming feeling, the Marauders understand the reward in victory regardless of the opponent and the environment.
McMaster looked comfortable last night as they defeated Brock to a score of 80-69.
The team will end the regular season in Guelph on Feb. 26.
This playoff season will be the last for Aaron Redpath, Leon Alexander and Troy Joseph. Just like the rest of the McMaster Men’s Basketball family, they are looking to support each other and go as far as time will allow.
Photo Credit: Jon White/ Photo Editor