Returning to the scene of an agonizingly close loss a day later, McMaster exorcised its demons emphatically Saturday in blowing out Algoma to split a weekend series in Sault Ste. Marie.
Led by the rookie trio of Brandon Bernard, Tristan Lindo and Sefa Otchere, the Marauders rolled to a 103-69 win over the Thunderbirds to keep their hopes of a home playoff date at Burridge Gym alive.
The win improved McMaster to 10-12 on the season, which places the Marauders in a tie with the Guelph Gryphons for the fourth seed in the OUA West division with two games left to be played in the regular season.
Playoff formatting stipulates that the top two teams in each of the OUA’s two divisions enjoy a bye through the first round of the playoffs, while the third and fourth seeds host first round contests against the sixth and fifth seeds respectively.
Beating the Gryphons by 17 points in their meeting in Guelph in January, the Marauders will host their divisional rivals in their final home game of the season on Wednesday, February 13.
Much like their female counterparts, who accomplished their widest margin of victory in nearly three years earlier Saturday night, the Marauders enjoyed a balanced attack with six players hitting double digits in points.
First-year Marauders Brandon Bernard and Tristan Lindo each set new single game benchmarks in the win, scoring 19 and 18 points respectively, while fellow rookie Sefa Otchere also had 18.
Bernard hit eight of 12 shots from the field and three of six from three-point range, while Lindo was seven of nine from the field and a perfect two of two from beyond the arc.
Damiann Prehay (16), Jordan Henry (11) and Connor Gilmore (10) also passed the 10-point threshold, while Henry notched a double double by adding 13 rebounds.
McMaster’s 34-point margin of victory Saturday was the widest that the Marauders have enjoyed in nearly four years, as Mac beat Algoma by 49 points (100-51) on February 21, 2015.
Source: Fraser Caldwell