Fresh off of winning the Concordia-Reebok Tournament and a game on the road Friday night, the Stingers women’s basketball team couldn’t hold back the UQAM Citadins and lost 75-67 this past Saturday. The loss takes the Stingers’ record down to 4-3 and puts them in third with eight points in the Quebec Student Sport Federation conference.
The Citadins opened the game with a strong offence and soon had a commanding lead. The Stingers were unable to fend off the advancing UQAM forwards or carry the ball to the offensive zone and found themselves down 27-10 after the first quarter.
“I tried to warn the players that they were going to come out strong. I was concerned we were going to come out flat and apparently my concerns were justified,” said head coach Keith Pruden after the game. “I hope we’re going to be able to learn from tonight.”
In the second quarter, the Citadins continued to come on strong and kept their lead comfortable. The Stingers defence seemed to wake up late in the quarter but not in time to salvage the first half, leaving them down 39-30.
Yasmin Jean-Philippe, the Stingers highest scorer of the game with 16 points and one of the team’s veterans, felt that the team had been slow in practice and in the first half of the game.
“We tried to change it in the second half but it was too late,” said Jean-Philippe.
The Stingers tried to rally back in the third quarter with solid defensive play coming from all players. With about six minutes left to play in the quarter, Jean-Philippe had brought the Stingers within five points of the Citadins. UQAM began to take fouls and gave up bonus free throws but the Stingers were unable to take advantage of the opportunity. The Citadins managed to keep their lead at 59-51.
Early into the fourth quarter, the Citadins found themselves once again in foul trouble, but this time the Stingers had about seven minutes to capitalize on their undisciplined play with free throws. However, the Citadins began making three-pointer after three-pointer to keep the lead away from the Stingers. With less than four minutes to go, Jean-Philippe responded with her own three-pointer and brought the Citadins lead down to four points. Stinger AndrÃ©anne GrÃ©goire-Boudreau brought the Stingers within two after free throws. The comeback wasn’t enough and the Citadins pulled away to win the game 75-67.
The Citadins finished the game with an impressive 64 per cent of their three-point shots made, the majority of which came from guard Jessica Bibeau-CÃ´tÃ© with five shots. The devastating three-point shots showed a particular defensive weakness in the Stingers game.
“They’re not a particularly good three-point shooting team but we gave them far too many good looks,” said Pruden. “We let them get into a comfortable offensive rhythm.”
The loss comes after the Stingers won on the road in Laval on Friday in a much-too-close game that finished 59-57. The Stingers also closed out 2010 by winning the Concordia-Reebok Invitational, beating the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds with a score of 68-66. The Stingers were well represented and honoured with Kendra Carrie being chosen as one of the tournament’s all-stars and Stinger guard Magalie Beaulieu being named the most valuable player.
Pruden acknowledged that the team has developed the bad habit of “squeaking out” wins and that it is something that needs to “get out of the team’s system.”
The Stingers’ next game will be against the McGill Martlets this Thursday, Jan. 13, at 6 p.m. at Love Competition Hall. They will also play this Saturday night against Bishop’s at 8:00 p.m. at the Concordia Gym.