By Fraser Caldwell
Sport Information Officer
With just two points separating them from the Blues through three quarters, the Marauders found another gear in the fourth on Saturday to grab their fourth consecutive win.
McMaster out-scored Toronto 23-20 in the final quarter of Saturday’s tight encounter at Burridge Gym to see out an 82-77 win and improve to 5-1 on the season.
Second-year guard Jordan Henry led all scorers with 21 points, while hitting eight of 16 attempts from the field and adding 10 assists for a double double in the win. Teammates Damiann Prehay and Sefa Otchere also excelled on the offensive end with totals of 18 and 17 points respectively, while Kwasi Adu-Poku finished the afternoon just one rebound shy of a double double with 10 points and nine rebounds.
Grabbing the initiative at the opening whistle, the Blues scored seven of the game’s first nine points, and jumped out to a five-point lead when Eric Rwahwire knocked down a three with 6:25 to play in the first quarter.
Mac battled back quickly, and tied the game when Otchere dispatched a layup underneath at 4:21. The teams were content to trade buckets for the remainder of the quarter, and Henry made good on the final shot of the period to tie things up yet again at 17.
Upping their level as a team, the Marauders out-scored the Blues 22-18 in the second quarter to take hold of the lead, and snatched it away at 23-22 when Otchere canned a triple with 6:22 to play in the half.
That was part of an 8-0 run, capped by an Otchere dunk, that pushed Mac ahead 28-20 at 4:29 of the second quarter. From there, the Marauders successfully nursed their lead, and built it back to four points on the final possession of the half when Connor Gilmore drained a three for 39-35.
The teams played each other to a virtual standstill in the third quarter, with the Marauders leading by as many as eight points at 52-44 when Jordan Henry converted a layup at 5:45, before the Varsity Blues clawed their way back.
A Chris Barrett layup at 4:04 had the visitors within a point at 52-51, before consecutive buckets for Prehay restored some order for the hosts, including an emotional dunk for 56-51.
Toronto struck back immediately however, and pulled to within two points at quarter’s end when Somachi Agbapu made good on two free throws for 59-57.
With next to nothing between the teams and 10 minutes to play, it was the Marauders who proved the more clinical down the stretch.
Despite momentarily losing their lead, the home side responded with three straight buckets to vault ahead 69-65 and did not relinquish the lead from there.
NEXT UP: McMaster heads to Sudbury to take on the Laurentian Voyageurs on Friday, November 22.