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Marauders use strong second half to pull away from Mustangs in 90-76 victory

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LONDON, Ont. (from Western Mustangs) – Four different players scored in double digits to help propel the McMaster Marauders to an 90-76 win over the Western Mustangs at Alumni Hall on Saturday afternoon.

“We just did a very poor job of our defensive rebounding,” said head coach Brad Campbell. “In the second half, and primarily in the third quarter, it was our defense’s penetration. We constantly got beat, broke down, and gave up a lot of layups in the quarter. The help wasn’t there, and I thought we were outplayed physically in that game.”

The Mustangs were led by Omar Shiddo, who scored 21 points to tie the game-high, followed by Jedson Tavernier and Henry Tan, who each recorded 12 points in the loss. Christopher Clegg led the rebounding effort, pulling down seven boards.

Sasha Simic led the Marauders with 21 points of his own, followed by teammates David McCulloch, Miles Seward, and Matt Quiring, recording 18, 17, and 16 points, respectively. Quiring led all players with nine rebounds.

With the loss, Western updates their record to 9-7 on the year as they continue to hold second in the OUA West. The win helps improve McMaster’s record to 3-13, remaining locked in second-last in the OUA West.

In the first quarter, neither team was able to gain a substantial lead throughout most of the frame, with the defense of the Marauders preventing the Mustangs from establishing much headway. However, Western capitalized on the few defensive lapses, as Shiddo nine points to help the Mustangs take a 19-14 advantage into the second quarter.

Shiddo continued to be a large proponent of the Mustang offence, but efficient three-point shooting enabled McMaster to eventually take the lead at the midway point of the frame. Both sides traded baskets for the remainder of the frame, before a buzzer beater by Tavernier helped the purple and white narrowly pull out in front 45-44 going into halftime.

An early 9-2 McMaster run to begin the third quarter helped them once again pull out in front. The Marauders continued to build on their lead as the Mustangs struggled with their defence and rebounding, allowing the opposition to further their lead to 74-60 at the end of the third.

“Our execution lacked on offence, we forced some stuff, and we’ve done this throughout the season a few times where we’re struggling on offence then we force it a little bit too much, and make it difficult on ourselves,” said Campbell on the third quarter. “Instead of trying to produce better shots, we kind of rush and take poorer shots like we’re going to get it back and we did that during the stretch and it played right into McMaster’s hands.”

With the advent of the fourth quarter, McMaster continued to expand their lead against the Mustangs. Western continued to battle with several pushes in the frame, but were unable in close the gap, with the Marauders taking a 90-76 win.

“We have some things that have plagued us all season, like defensive rebounding, that came back to kind of haunt us today. We’ve got to watch the tape, dissect those things we need work on, make sure we do a better job at practice, and the games we’ve got left we have got to improve on those things, for sure.” said Campbell.

The Mustangs will be back in action on Friday, January 26, at 8 p.m. to begin a two-game series against the Algoma Thunderbirds in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. Fans can catch all the action live on OUA.tv.

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