Basketball: McMaster punches ticket for CIS Final 8, first appearance since 2006

TORONTO — In what could be the final game for the trio with the most regular season wins in Windsor Lancers history, Enrico Diloreto, Josh Collins and Lien Phillip faltered.

McMaster prevailed 93-89 behind a late fourth-quarter and overtime rally in the OUA Bronze medal match, and the three fifth-years on Windsor combined for 20 turnovers.

Diloreto shot 2-9 and the Collins-Phillip duo both shot 5-14.

Windsor owned a 10-point lead early in the third quarter, but Mac would slowly chip away at the lead. Like last night, the marauders did not have production from their main offensive weapons – Taylor Black and Joe Rocca. Black shot 2-11 and Rocca only shot 2-4.

Mac’s Trevon McNeil made a three with 13 seconds remaining, putting McMaster up 81-79. Collins got fouled with .7 and cashed in two free throws to send it to OT.

Adam Presutti nailed two threes and hit a pair of free throws with 23 seconds left to put McMaster up four and put the final result at 93-89.

It was the play of Leon Alexander on Phillip that was the game-changer. Alexander, a transfer from a United States junior college, is listed at six-foot-five but was able to bother the six-foot-11 Phillip and force ten turnovers and 5-14 shooting night.

Lancers coach was disappointed with the team’s performance, pointing to missed free throws (20-32) and turnovers as the issues.

“You pretty much do it to yourself sometimes. Full credit to Mac, they played well enough to win the game,” said Oliver. “That was not our best effort and this team is good enough to be at Nationals. There’s a lot of disappointment in that locker room.”

For Mac, it was a goal realized. Making it to the CIS Final 8 has been the repeated and seldom goal of the Marauders, and with the victory, they book a spot at the tournament. McMaster was the most local school in the Final Four and was well supported. Head coach Amos Connolly immediately praised the fans post-game.

“It was nice to have those people there and their support, especially after yesterday,” said Connolly. The Maroon and Grey had to battle numerous times, after being down seven at half, a bizarre non-time-out that was turned into a media time-out, and the foul with .7 seconds left where Collins tied the game.

Rookie Trevon McNeil has been outstanding all weekend. He led the team in minutes against Windsor, logging 35 in the OT affair. McNeil also dropped a game-high 23 points on 7-13 shooting.

Moving forward, the Lancers are an outside shot to make the CIS Final 8. Rotimi Osuntola Jr., the new “cornerstone” of the team according to Oliver, did his best to make up for the failings of the seniors. His energy, rebounding and consistency made him the lone bright spot. Osuntola Jr. shot 10-15 from the field, knocked home two threes for 23 points and led the game with 11 rebounds. He only committed two turnovers in 38 minutes of play.

McMaster will grab a lower seed after finishing third in the OUA. Ottawa and Carleton will be the other OUA representatives.
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