Hot ticket: Lions host McMaster in basketball championship

York’s hottest ticket at the moment is for Saturday’s big basketball game. The York Lions men’s basketball team will host the McMaster Marauders in the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) Championship Final on March 11 at 8pm in the Tait McKenzie Centre. The winner will be crowned the 2005-2006 OUA champions. Both squads will advance and represent the OUA at the Canadian Interuniversity Sport Final 10 National Championship in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The national championship takes place March 16-19.

Right: York Lions’ Tut Ruach

York’s last conference title came in the 1984-1985 season, while McMaster’s last league championship was in 1996-1997.

The teams met once in the regular season with the Marauders recording a 92-85 win at York on Nov. 18. McMaster’s Adam Steiner scored a team-high 21 points ands five rebounds, while John Obrovac added 19 points. Dan Eves scored a game-high 29 points and nine rebounds for York. Tut Ruach added 18 points, seven rebounds and four assists.

The teams also met in the Raptors Invitational Tournament in October, with the Lions edging the Marauders, 72-71. Ruach had a team-high 20 points for York, while Steiner recorded a game-high 24 points.

York entered the opening round of the playoffs after finishing fourth in the OUA East Division with a record of 14-8. In the Division Quarterfinals, York defeated the Laurentian Voyageurs 85-82 in overtime battle before qualifying for the CIS National Championship with a 76-55 victory over the No. 6 Ottawa Gee-Gees. In the OUA East Championship game, the Lions beat the CIS No. 1 ranked and three-time defending national champion Carleton Ravens, 82-74.

The Marauders earned a first-round playoff bye after finishing first in the OUA West standings with a 17-5 record. McMaster defeated Windsor 67-55 in the West Semifinals and Laurier 75-57 in the West Final.

Fans are encouraged to buy tickets in advance for Saturday’s OUA Championship, which is expected to be a sellout. Advance tickets can be purchased by contacting Kimberly Moser, Sport York communications & promotions officer at Prices are $5 for adults, $3 for all students and seniors, children 12 and under are free.