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Stingers offense buries Redmen

by Archives February 5, 2008

With three losses in their last four games, it seemed like Concordia men’s basketball teams’ offence was coming down with a bit of a cold. Fortunately for the Stingers, a dose of (point guard Damian) Buckley’s 24-point scoring medicine was all it took to make the McGill Redmen sick by dropping in a 99-84 victory.
Buckley’s scoring effort was helped by teammate Andre Johnny, who poured in 22 points for Concordia in Saturday’s victory.
Both players got started early in the first quarter, as Buckley took advantage of a porous Redmen defence, scoring a trio of field goals while Johnny got open for a three point shot early on the Stingers’ second possession. Johnny, who has been seeing more playing time in the absence of Dwayne Buckley, ended up making four of seven shots from three-point range while shooting four for five from the line in the game.
“As of late he’s played really well,” said Stingers head coach John Dore. “He’s tough going up for those rebounds and doing all the little things you need to do in the game.”
The missing link in Concordia’s upset loss to the Redmen earlier in the season made his presence felt to McGill’s defence, as centre Jamal Gallier got the ball under the basket for some early inside points. Despite the strong offence the Stingers defenders allowed a few open shots to the Redmen, resulting in a slim 23-22 Concordia lead at the end of the first quarter.
The Stingers defenders tightened up in the second quarter, allowing McGill only 15 points in the frame. Buckley, though a little banged up after cutting his chin on the hardwood, continued to find options inside with Gallier on the bench, feeding a few assists to forward Sebastien Martin in the paint. Johnny continued his strong first half performance, crossing over a McGill defender and hitting an easy 10 foot jumper.
With a 47-26 lead at the half, Concordia was freed up to play patient, methodical basketball, spreading the ball around and giving the bench solid minutes. With Dwayne Buckley at the controls, the Stingers engineered a nine-point run and led 60-42 with five minutes left in the third quarter.
The final quarter saw more of the same from the Stingers offence, albeit with a few more trips to the line as both teams were called numerous times for fouls. With 6:14 left in the game a Concordia and McGill player crashed to the floor chasing a loose ball. Following the play the referees assessed two technical fouls to the Redmen for arguing the call. Buckley was given four free throws and sunk all four to extend Concordia’s advantage.
Following the play, Gallier and Martin combined to dominate both the offensive and defensive boards, combining for fourteen rebounds in the game. By the final two minutes the victory was sealed, and Concordia walked away with a 99-84 victory and second place in the Quebec Conference.
“What we have to do now is focus on the long term, getting healthy so that we can compete for a championship.” said Buckley. “The league is wide open. At this point in the season it’s anyone’s game now.”
The Stingers travel to Laval Friday, before returning to home on Saturday to host the UQAM Citadins at 4 p.m.

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