Rocca magical again as Lancers storm back to win in OT

Windsor 91, McMaster 87 in OVERTIME… 5’10” Mike Rocca orchestrated another dramatic comeback, finishing a whirling, spinning 12 footer in the lane with 4 seconds left in OT that was the margin of victory in Lancers overtime win that likely clinches a first-round home playoff game in Windsor.  Earlier, Rocca, who had 16 of his game-high 27 points in the fourth quarter and overtime – including Windsor’s first 9 in the extra session, had helped fashion a 16-2 Windsor run that appeared to give Lancers a shot at winning in regulation, but 6’7″ Connor Gilmore knocked down a clutch three from the left wing to tie it for Mac late in regulation.  6’6″ Luke Allin‘s baseline jumper at the regulation buzzer rolled around and out to take the teams to the extra frame.  McMaster had one final opportunity to tie or win the game at the end of OT but 6’1″ David McCulloch‘s in-bound pass intended for 6’4″ Rohan Boney was stolen by Allin (“Havlicek stole the ball !!) who was fouled and converted the final two free throws to seal it.  Marauders looked to be in charge up 11 with about 4 minutes remaining in the fourth after a three-pointer off an offensive rebound by 6’2” Chris Thompson but 6’4″ Lucas Orlita hit back-to-back threes and Lancers stiffened defensively, finally getting some key defensive rebounds after McMaster kept several possessions alive on the offensive glass.  6’7″ Anthony Zrvnar (6 points, 8 rebounds in 30 minutes) was solid for Windsor defensively down the stretch and had a pair of clutch defensive rebounds that helped propel the big run.  But Rocca (27 points, 11 rebounds, 4 assists) was incredible down the stretch with numerous tough 3’s, several in traffic takes including a wonderful, spinning finish among the trees inside that preceded Gilmore’s game-tying shot in regulation.  The loss was McMaster’s fifth in their past 7 games and likely means that Windsor will finish 8th in the RPI.  Marauders, who got 24 points and 15 rebounds from Gilmore, travel to Western on Saturday with the Mustangs having been eliminated from the post-season earlier tonight with a loss to Brock.  Windsor hosts Brock also on Saturday to end their regular season.  UPDATE:  Somewhat miraculously, despite the loss McMaster remains #8 in the RPI followed closely by Windsor at #9 (although this may change after Saturday with Windsor playing the higher seeded Brock Badgers and Mac getting Western, now ranked #16 after their loss).

Brock 80, Western 65… Badgers showed tremendous all-round offensive balance with six players in double figures and held Mustangs impact guards 6’1″ Omar Shiddo and 6’1″ Eriq Jenkins to just 5 for 23 from the field in a solid road win at Alumni Hall which eliminates the Mustangs from the post-season.  6’3″ Ryan Bennett went 6-8 and finished with 14 points while Brock again got a solid offensive effort from 6’7″ Cassidy Ryan, who is becoming almost automatic from the elbow.  Mustangs did make some runs during the game, forcing some turnovers with their three-quarter court pressure but Brock was equal to every run, showing a maturity on offense sharing the ball.  Badgers won handily despite only 10 points from 6’7″ Dani Elgadi, a circumstance that in times past likely would lead to a loss.  Elgadi was solid on the glass with 8 rebounds in 27 minutes.


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