Lakehead’s night can be summed up in a 40-second span.
Still within reach of the No. 6 McMaster Marauders as halftime approached, the Thunderwolves fell apart in the final 40 seconds of the second quarter Saturday night.
After an Aaron Redpath trey that stretched a seven-point McMaster lead to double digits, the Wolves fell apart.
LU guard Jamar Coke had the ball stripped twice, leading to easy Marauders baskets. A foul and a pair of Adam Presutti turnovers left the Wolves staring at a 16-point halftime deficit.
They never recovered.
McMaster poured in 52 second-half points and easily outgunned the hometown Thunderwolves 101-64, the first time in more than six years that the Thunderwolves have allowed an opponent to cross the century threshold.
It was Jan. 26, 2008 when Windsor turned the trick, outscoring LU 103-74.
“The end of the second quarter we had what felt like 10 straight turnovers, but it was probably about four or five. They converted on all of them. They had 10 points off turnovers in the second quarter,” said interim coach Matt Erdman, whose team slipped to 6-12, but remained in the thick of the OUA West playoff picture.
The Wolves just couldn’t get anything going after the opening quarter, which saw each team put up 20 points.
In fact, Lakehead led most of the way in the first 10 minutes, opening up a four-point advantage at one point after guard Dwayne Harvey followed a great inside move by Igor Lebov with a pair of free throws.
The Marauders, now 15-3 and in complete control of the division, two games in front of Windsor, had all the answers.
They started the second quarter on a 10-2 run, and then when Josh Bell pulled Lakehead within four with a long-range three, fifth-year senior Nathan Pelech drained one of his own for the Marauders.
McMaster took a 49-33 lead into the half, upped it to 19 after three and finished off a 16-0 run in the fourth to go up 31, 81-50.
It was academic from there.
Erdman is trying to take the positive out of being on the losing end of a weekend sweep.
“You never want to lose two games, but you’ve got to give credit to Mac. They’re a really good team and they did a lot of good things tonight to take us out of rhythm,” Erdman said. “I just told these guys, we’re no worse off right now. We’re still in the hunt for the playoffs and we’re still in the hunt to host a playoff game. It doesn’t really matter about Friday or Saturday. We just have to worry about Monday morning.”
Joe Rocca led the Marauders with 23 points, one of five McMaster players in double digits.
Igor Lebov, who fouled out with less than two minutes to play, led LU with 15, while Joey Nitychoruk posted a double-double, scoring 13 to go with 11 rebounds. Guard Dwayne Harvey, who had to undergo concussion tests during the game, had a dozen for Lakehead.
The Thunderwolves hit the road next weekend to take on Laurier (8-10).
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