After a disappointing loss in the semifinal, the McMaster University Marauders won bronze at the Wilson Cup by defeating the University of Windsor Lancers 93-89 at the Mattamy Athletic Centre on Saturday.
The teams went into overtime to crown the winner — both fighting hard to get a chance to play in the CIS final eight.
In the opening quarter, Windsor moved the ball to open up the top of the key. The Lancers used their fast-passed ball movement to hit shots from nearly every spot on the floor — including a momentum-shifting dunk by Rotimi Osuntola. He recorded a double-double and led the Lancers in scoring with 23 points.
But the Marauders matched the Lancers point-for-point in the opening frame.
In the second quarter, Windsor’s three fifth-year forwards controlled the pace and broke down the Marauders defence. Veterans Enrico Diloreto and Philip Lein combined for 11 points and used their experience to give the Lancers a seven-point lead by halftime.
But Windsor’s carelessness with the basketball in the second half allowed McMaster to chip away at their own deficit. By the end of the game, the Lancers had turned the ball over 27 times.
“So many of our turnovers were unforced decisions. It wasn’t like they were pressing full-court for the whole game,” Windsor head coach Chris Oliver said. “For the most part it was us making unsmart decisions.”
McMaster’s Aaron Redpath and Trevon McNeil also helped the Marauders make a comeback — combined for 25 points and 10 rebounds in the second half of the game.
With .7 seconds left in the game and McMaster up by one basket, Lancer Josh Collins was fouled on a desperation shot that could have tied the game. He came through in the clutch and made both free-throws successfully to force an overtime.
McMaster’s Adam Presutti came off the bench to score eight of his team’s twelve points in overtime. Presutti shot a dismal 20 per cent from the field before overtime, but found his scoring touch and sunk all four attempts he took in the extra frame. His efforts helped secure McMaster’s win by 4 points.
“It’s easy to be aggressive in the Wilson cup because there’s so much on the line,” Presutti said. “The good teams stick it out when times are tough.”
By winning the five-minute overtime period, McMaster solidified a place in the CIS final eight next weekend in Ottawa.