PREVIEW: MBASK host McMaster to open playoffs
Two of the hottest teams in the OUA collide Wednesday night at the Athletic Complex

Wednesday, February 21, 2018 - Posted by Mac Turchan

Game Date and Time: Wednesday, February 21 – 7:00 p.m. (vs. McMaster, OUA Playoffs First Round)
Game Location: Laurier Athletic Complex, Waterloo
Live Webcast/Radio Coverage: and Radio Laurier
Tickets: vs. McMaster

The Laurier Athletic Complex re-opens Wednesday evening as the OUA West No. 4 seed Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks men’s basketball team do battle with the No. 5 McMaster Marauders. A tricky first round draw for the Hawks (12-12), the Marauders (10-14) closed the regular season on an absolute tear, winning eight of their final nine games to put themselves in this position.

Hawks Head Coach Justin Serresse says the Marauders have improved across the board in the second half, crediting their increased pace on offence and rebounding prowess as two keys to their turnaround. McMaster has averaged over 90 points a game in the month of February and Serresse knows that the Hawks success will come down to their attention to detail and intensity of the defensive end. 

The purple and gold scored a reasonably comfortable 79-64 road victory in Hamilton the first time these teams locked up on Jan. 13. However, the Marauders repaid the favour 11 days later, staving off a late Laurier comeback to score a 75-71 win at the Kitchener Memorial Auditorium. Serresse recognized that his team was a little too complacent in the rematch at the Aud, letting McMaster dictate the contest with their physicality. The purple and gold know they need to get right into the Marauders offence and give them no room to breathe.

The coach was generally pleased with the Hawks form over the last three games of the regular season, all double-digit victories. The playoff mentality has been there, and it has translated onto the court with solid all-around performances and contributions from up and down the lineup, all details in their game that they will most definitely need Wednesday night.

-    The winner of the matchup gets to face the U SPORTS No. 3 Brock Badgers on Saturday in St. Catharines. The Badgers have a bye in the first round
-    The Hawks finished the regular season with the OUA’s ninth ranked offence and fifth ranked defence
-    The Marauders wrapped up the regular season with back-to-back home victories over the Algoma Thunderbirds on the weekend
-    Other first round matchups from around the OUA include Waterloo at Windsor, Toronto at Laurentian, and Queen’s at Ryerson

OUA West No. 4 Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks (12-12)

G Ali Sow (Ottawa, Ont.)
-    The guard continues to deliver for the Hawks, setting the program’s rookie single-season scoring record on Saturday night against Lakehead, picking up his second Laurier Male Athlete of the Week nomination in three weeks
-    Sow’s 16.5 points per game were the most by any non-starter in the OUA, and he has been particularly deadly in 2018, with six games of 20 points or more

OUA West No. 5 McMaster Marauders (10-14)

G Miles Seward (Toronto, Ont.)
-    His return after missing three games on Jan. 17 kickstarted this terrific run that the Marauders have been on. Seward, the OUA’s fifth leading scorer, has been a focal point, scoring 18 or more points in six of their last ten games

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