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Ladies basketball splits weekend against top teams

by Archives February 12, 2008

With a narrow 76-70 loss to first-place Laval, and a 70-67 win to second-place UQAM, the women’s basketball team improved their record to 5-3.
The Stingers kicked off their weekend Friday night with a visit to the Laval Rouge et Or in Quebec city. In the opening minutes, they pulled ahead 8-0 and by the end of the first the Stingers were leading 22-14. Concordia held the lead for most of the game, but Laval kept nipping at their heels. In the dying minutes Laval stole the ball and scored, leaving Concordia with no choice, but to foul. Laval coolly sunk the key foul shots to win the game.
Krystle Douglas asserted her position as third-highest scorer in the league scoring 26 points. Yasmin Jean-Philippe scored 20 and Stephanie Ramonas stepped up defensively, guarding Laval’s Marie-Michele Genois.
The Stingers’ post game mood was evident. “We were angry that we lost. We could have won that game and we needed some payback,” said forward Heather Eason.
The Stingers entered their Saturday night game against the UQAM Citadins, a game that went down to the wire.
The game opened with Jean-Philippe scoring three treys in a row to give the Stingers an early lead. On the defensive end, captain Ramonas had her hands full guarding the Citadins leading scorer Cora Duval. The Stingers led with 17-13 at the end of the first quarter.
The second and third quarter yielded staggered and unreliable offence. The Stingers managed to stay ahead, but the Citadins wouldn’t let Concordia get a comfortable lead. Head coach Keith Pruden explained the remaining three quarters in simple terms. “Everything that could go wrong went wrong.” Sloppy passes and miscommunication repeatedly put the ball in Citadin’s hands. Foul trouble plagued Douglas and Kristin Portwine; by the start of the fourth quarter they were in danger of being fouled out.
Jean-Philippe was the hero this game, not only leading her team in scoring, but sinking the winning basket with two seconds left to clinch the victory.
“It’s basketball, it’s supposed to be about skill and that was a war,” said Pruden.
The Stingers found their scoring niche and began to look more comfortable with their shooting. In the late stages of the third quarter and early in the fourth both teams kept the referees busy. It seemed like there were more fouls than baskets as Concordia committed four fouls in less than two minutes at the start of the fourth.
The key to winning the fourth quarter was defensive play on the Citadins Duval. Ramonas and Eason would often have to double-team her leaving another player with an open shot. Offensively, the effect of Douglas’s presence on the floor was a key to playmaking. Eason added offensive depth by being able to vary scoring from outside the key and driving to the net.
The lead changed hands several times in the dying minutes but ultimately it came down to foul shots. Concordia sent UQAM to the line twice to bring the score to 67-67 with 13 seconds left. With two seconds left and the crowd on its feet, Jean-Philippe not only scored a field goal, but also picked up a free throw to secure the game 70-67.
Pruden described Jean-Philippe as representation of the entire team.
“She is like the team in microcosm, she is starting to believe that she’s as good as I’m telling her she is and she’s playing like it. When she’s on her game no one can stop her.”
“I didn’t even know I scored 27 points,” she said, adding that it was only post-game when Pruden told her that she realized it.
Eason and Douglas both contributed 13 points at key moments in the game.
Laval comes to town Friday night at 8 p.m. at the Loyola Sports Complex and they play at UQAM on Sunday at 2 p.m. at 1212 Saguinet St.

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