THUNDER BAY, ON (McMaster Marauders) – Punishing their hosts for lack of discipline and ball control, the McMaster Marauders made 24 free throws for a crucial men’s basketball road win over the Lakehead Thunderwolves Friday night.
McMaster beat Lakehead 90-85 to improve to 5-14 and keep pace with the Guelph Gryphons for the sixth and final playoff spot in the OUA West.
Marauders guards David McCulloch, and Miles Seward combined to score 17 points from 22 free throw attempts, and served as the Marauders’ leading scorers with totals of 28 and 22 points respectively.
Forward Matt Quiring finished the night with a double-double, with 16 points and 12 rebounds in McMaster’s win.
In addition to their foul trouble, Lakehead struggled mightily to retain the ball Friday, racking up 19 turnovers which McMaster turned into 30 points.
The Thunderwolves were guilty of 11 turnovers in the opening half, which the Marauders punished to the tune of 16 points. That wastefulness saw McMaster take a 42-40 lead into the halftime break, despite trailing their opponents in most statistical categories through 20 minutes of play.
McMaster continued to hold a slim lead for much of the third quarter, until Lakehead’s Mor Menache took matters into his own hands, stripping the Marauders on successive possessions and making both steals count on the offensive end, to give the Thunderwolves a 59-56 advantage with 2:38 to play.
A triple and block from Menache, whose tally swelled to 23 points through three quarters, helped the hosts keep control, and they took a three-point lead into the final 10 minutes of play.
That edge was quickly erased by the Marauders in the fourth, with a 9-0 run capped by a pair of McCulloch free throws putting McMaster in the driver’s seat with 4:55 to play.
Foul trouble blunted any chance of a comeback from Lakehead, and after Nick Burke’s dunk gave the hosts a glimmer of hope at 88-83, Seward drained a pair from the stripe to put the game beyond reach.
The two teams complete their weekend series Saturday at the Thunderdome, with tipoff scheduled for 8 pm EST.