The Concordia Stingers women’s basketball team came close to defeating the number five ranked Laval Rouge et Or on Friday but turnovers were once again the turning point as the Stingers eventually fell 77-61.
The loss coupled with McGill’s win over the Bishop’s Gaiters on Friday means that the 0-12 Stingers have been eliminated from the playoffs in a challenging Quebec conference. The Stingers have been plagued by inconsistency all season long and that was the case again on Friday. The Stingers made 28 turnovers in the game but kept within striking distance for most of the game.
“The last several years, Quebec has been a very, very tough conference. As poor as our record is, we’re not a bad team. We’ve had close games against ranked teams all year. The problem with being in such a tough league is that when you turn the ball over, it’s gone,” said Keith Pruden, Stingers head coach.
Concordia led 30-28 late in the first half but Laval went into the half with a 36-32 lead. The Rouge et Or, led by eight Josee Lalonde points, went on a 12-2 run to open the second half and gain a 48-34 lead. The Stingers came right back, however, with an 11-0 streak of their own led by six points by Stephanie Ramonas.
Pruden said that despite the change in production, there wasn’t much difference in the play of his team.
“In the first half we turned the ball over 14 times and let them score a bunch of easy baskets. In the second half we turned the ball over 14 times and let them score a bunch of easy baskets,” Pruden said. “It was the first time all year that we battled with Laval so I’m very pleased with that but mistakes are killing us offensively and defensively.”
The Stingers got good performances from co-captain Melanie Larocque who led the team with 15 points, while Shannah Ernest led the team with nine rebounds off the bench. Ramonas finished the game with 12 points and six rebounds.
Near the end of the second half Concordia seemed to force shots, but that is something Pruden doesn’t mind seeing.
“I’d rather make mistakes aggressively. One of our problems early in the year was that we weren’t shooting enough. I can live with that,” Pruden said.
The Stingers have four games remaining, but it doesn’t seem like Pruden will change his strategy.
“This isn’t a high school team. People will play as much as they earn. They earn that in practice. We’re still going to try and win all four games. If they play well in practice and the right situation comes up in a game, they’ll have a chance to play. This isn’t a participation program,” Pruden said.