The no. 6 ranked McMaster Marauders staged a furious fourth quarter come back on home court, upsetting the no. 2 ranked Gee-Gees on Friday night with a 96-90 score. A three-pointer from McMaster’s Troy Joseph proved to be the final dagger after the home squad erased a 17- point deficit.
Joseph led all scorers with 30 points, hitting 7-of-9 from long distance. That was backed up by a dominating performance from fourth-year Leon Alexander who notched 27 points, 10 rebounds, 4 steals and a block. Rohan Bonney, after a nearly silent first half, came through with 24 points.
After a close first half, Ottawa appeared fully in control as it built a 70-53 lead in the third quarter. Echoing his performance in the Capital Hoops Classic win over Carleton, Matt Plunkett hit a trio of three-pointers as the Gee-Gees pulled ahead. Ottawa scored 35 points in the third quarter but could muster just 12 in the fourth.
The lead was down to two points midway through the fourth quarter as McMaster scrambled, earning second chance points. Alexander hit a fade-away with 3:49 left to give the Marauders a 86-85 lead.
Mike L’Africain came right back with a score and the final four minutes were an all-out battle. The biggest basket for McMaster came from Joseph, sinking a trey from in front of his bench to take the score to 92-89. A tied-up ball gave possession back to McMaster on the next play, and a strange foul call put Aaron Redpath on the foul line where he was good for the pair.
L’Africain paced the Ottawa offence with 18 points with Brody Maracle adding 14. Nathan McCarthy, Caleb Agada, and Plunkett each counted 12 points.
With the exception of the hot-handed Joseph, McMaster was intent on getting to the paint and the Marauders made 36 trips to the free throw line.
The Gee-Gees, now 12-2 in regular season play, will look to rebound against no. 5 ranked Brock Badgers (10-4) on Saturday.