Despite a few brief mental lapses in the game’s second and third quarters, the Concordia Stingers outscored the visiting Laval Rouge et Or by 18 points during the final 10 minutes, earning themselvesÂ an 88-72 victory.
Concordia came out strong in the first quarter, playing typical Stingers basketball. They quickly set the tone of game, playing aggressively on both sides of the ball and getting out in transition, all of which translated into an early 22-17 lead.
However, in what has been the case of late, Concordia’s intensity and focus seemingly all but disappeared in the game’s middle quarters, allowing the visiting Rouge et Or to claw their way back into the game, even grabbing hold of the lead late in the third quarter.
“It’s an issue that we’ve always been talking about in practice,” said Stingers forward Evens Laroche. He was echoing his words from last week talking about how the Stingers want to win big to send a message.
“We have to take our intensity to the next level and that’s what we’re working on. We always start strong and we finish well, but we need to be a killer team that beats teams by 40 points and just doesn’t stop,” he said. “We’re working on it. It’s a long process though.”
Kyle Desmarais, who scored 16 points in the night, also chimed in on the issue. “We have to work on playing a full 40 minutes and we’ll just destroy teams,” said the Stingers guard. “We’re trying to see what we can do to get the guys to perform for a full 40 minutes. If we can do that, we’ll be dangerous nationally.”
Entering the fourth quarter down by a bucket, the Stingers seemed to regain their composure and overall sense of urgency as the lackadaisical attitude that characterized their play over the game’s previous 20 minutes was nowhere to be found.
They proceeded to crush the visitors, almost completely shutting them down defensively as they outscored Laval 28-10, turning a two-point deficit into a 16-point victory.
The Stingers were led in no small part by Laroche who had a spectacular game, contributing all over the board. The fourth-year forward registered 16 points on 5-of-9 shooting, to go along with six rebounds, six assists, seven steals and two blocks.
“Evens was all over the court today,” said Stingers head coach John Dore. “He rebounded and he blocked shots. I didn’t even realize he had 16 points. It was the other things that he did that stood out. The intangibles he provided, such as getting in the passing lanes and coming across the court and getting his hands on loose balls was big for us. All those little things that he did for us helped us be successful tonight.”
With the victory, the Stingers are now 2-0 in the season and will play host to the Bishop’s University Gaiters this Friday, Nov. 25 at 8 p.m.Â