Saturday, 8 January 2011

McMaster 95, Western 80

In a game between a pair of teams seemingly headed in opposite directions, the Marauders were sparked by the return to (almost) full game minutes of 6'8" Scott Brittain, who had 13 of his 23 points in the fourth quarter, including 9 during the game-deciding 17-2 Marauder run in a 4 minute stretch very early in the fourth that erased a three point Western lead and gave Mac an 80-67 cushion.  Brittain, who has been eased back into the lineup while recovering from his well-publicized set of concussions and the subsequent lingering symptoms, got to the foul line and made several perimeter jumpers in a dominant performance that gives Mac their second consecutive league victory after the Holidays.  Brittain, who battled foul trouble all afternoon, played only 20 minutes in the game and added 14 rebounds.  Conversely, the 'Stangs lost their second consecutive on their home floor, both by double digits and fell to 5-5 on the season with 7 of their last 12 league games away from Alumni Hall.

Western had built a second-half lead as large as 5 late in the third on the heels of five consecutive points from All-Canadian Andrew Wedemire (16 points) but freshman Kyle Giedraitis later hit a three that tied it for Mac before Western entered the final frame up 1.

Marauders jumped out of the gate leading 13-4 as Brittain had 5 early points and then grabbed their largest lead to that point of the game at 24-14 on a pair of free throws from 6'6" Cam Michaud (23 points).  But Western owned the third, much of it played with Brittain on the bench after he picked up his 4th foul with just 2 minutes gone in the third, and appeared poised to take the game away in the fourth until Brittain returned and took over.

6'0" Ryan Barbeau had 22 to lead Western including 11 for 11 from the foul line as the 'Stangs shot 36 for 46 from the stripe against 19 of 30 for Mac.  6'8" Adam Jespersen added 19 for Western which shot just 4 of 16 from downtown.

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