Taking the myth out of Mac
WEDGIE! A Marauder attempts to pull up Jonathon Dingle's shorts during Wednesday night's game. Western beat McMaster 76-64.
By Nick Lewis
Starting the game with a 7-0 run, a monster McMaster men's basketball team looked to dump the underdog Mustangs in no time Wednesday night. Then Western went and ruined it all by doing something silly like beating the provincial champions.
Killing the giants systematically and with a surgeon's precision, the 'Stangs sliced through Mac's defence and finally managed to get their offensive machines churning, laying the beast to sleep 76-64 .
The win was foreshadowed by Guelph guard Darren Thomas following last Saturday's Gryphon win over Western.
"[Western] has to contain Mac's ferocious shootouts," he said. "They have to penetrate inside and improve their inside shots. If they can use their big guys to their potential, they can hurt Mac."
That's precisely what they did. Forcing Mac to rotate the ball by not allowing easy shots, the Mustangs forced the Marauders into 18 turnovers and a horrible 34 per cent shooting accuracy.
Mustang forward Chris Webber led all scorers with 20 points and 11 boards.
"Oh God, this game was so much better than the Guelph game," he said. "We found so much more than just our offence going for us. We turned in, pushed our way around in the paint and punished them from the inside."
The first half may as well have been decided by a free-throw contest, as both teams combined for 43 appearances at the line in just the first 20 minutes. McMaster was hindered by terrible shooting at the charity stripe, going eight for 21 for the half and 11 for 28 for the game a dismal 39 per cent.
"We had a good first half," Webber said. "Our defence was working really well and we managed to move their guys around. When you have that kind of intensity in a ball game you're going to have a lot of bodies flying."
Mustang coach Craig Boydell saw a more-focused team on the court and gave well-deserved credit to the men who managed to get the job done.
"Even though we had the lead in the first half, we still didn't let down the intensity of our game," he said. "We did a great job on offence and our defence was just incredible."
One matchup that was anxiously awaited was between Mustang guard Jonathan Dingle and OUAA all-star Titus Channer, a battle won by Dingle for this round.
"My main responsibility all game was Titus," Dingle said. "I just thought, I'm not going to let him get the best of us."
"He played great against me," Channer conceded. "He was tough and he didn't let me get any open shots. Even when I did I didn't make them.
"Western is a very physical team and they handled our pressure very well. We just got totally outplayed today."
"We worked on trying to be more aggressive in practice," Boydell explained. "We got a couple of the backboards which we didn't last time. We jazzed up a really stagnant offence."
Western's next game is tomorrow at Windsor.