McMaster 71, Windsor 63… Getting a tremendous effort from their big three of 6’7″ Connor Gilmore, 6’1″ David McCulloch and 6’4″ Rohan Boney, the Marauders rode a 17-4 fourth-quarter run to break a tie enabling McMaster to exorcise the proverbial demons from the past two seasons with a road victory at Windsor. Boney had 11 of his 17 points in the final 7 minutes including two free throws to give Mac the lead for good and then punctuated the night with a three-pointer and later a dunk that extended the lead to 11. Gilmore also had 17 points including a huge three that gave Mac a 55-50 lead and they were never headed after that. Windsor shot just 6 of 34 from downtown including a combined 2 for 17 from 5’10” Mike Rocca and 6’7″ Luke Allin, who returned from a bronchitis ailment. Marauders were well worthy of the victory and move on to Ottawa on Saturday night to face #1 Carleton Ravens at the Raven’s Nest.
Toronto 82, Lakehead 61… Varsity Blues came off a rough weekend in Ottawa with a strong defensive performance and the usual offensive contribution from 6’5″ Devin Johnson (18 points, 12 rebounds) to win decisively at home against Lakehead. Thunderwolves 6’5″ forward Bacarius Dinkins found himself saddled with two early fouls and played just 3 first-half minutes as Lakehead fell behind as many as 15. Dinkins had a strong second half but it was not enough to offset the early rough start. Lakehead’s 6’5″ fifth-year senior Alexandre Robichaud also was in foul trouble early and, playing without the services of injured 5’11” point guard Henry Tan, the Blues pushed to a dominant halftime advantage and kept a double digit lead throughout the final 20 minutes in a solid home win at the Goldring Center. Blues now travel to Brock for a Saturday affair against #4 Badgers at the Bob Davis Gym in what is expected to be a sell-out crowd.
Nipissing 77, Queen’s 74… 6’4″ Marcus Lewis was dominant with a near-triple double (12 points, 9 rebounds, 7 assists) and 6’8″ Justin Shaver added 17 points on 8-10 shooting off the bench as the Lakers held on to win their first-ever playoff game. After trailing by as many as 22 points early in the fourth quarter, the Gaels nearly came all the way back as 6’7″ Tanner Graham had a tremendous look at a game-tying three late off a fine feed from 6’3″ Sukhpreet Singh that rimmed out. Singh finished his fine career with 31 points in the loss as for the second consecutive season, Queen’s lost a tough, one possession road playoff game. Nipissing will face #3 Ryerson Rams in Toronto on Saturday night at the Mattamy Center.
Laurentian 88, Laurier 72… 6’5″ Nelson Yengue had all 14 of his points in the first half as the Voyageurs took a double digit lead and then 6’2″ Kadre Gray (18 of his game-high 26 points) took over in the second half as Laurentian cruised at home. Vees led by as many as 14 in the first half and were ahead comfortably until 5’10” Tevaun Kokko got going (17 of his 24 points came after halftime); Kokko’s basket midway through the third got it back to 7 but it was as close as the Golden Hawks would get as Gray and 6’3″ David Aromolaran (23 points) helped Laurentian pull away. Laurier shot just 35% and got zero points from starting fifth-year center Matt Chesson. Laurentian now gets set to meet #2 Ottawa Gee-Gees at 3 PM ET on Saturday at Montpetit Hall.