After Concordia’s 68-63 victory at home on Saturday afternoon, the UQAM Citadins’ locker room ranked somewhere between the dentist’s and your in-laws’ house, for places you’d want to be.
The Citadins’ second straight loss in as many games against Concordia, drew the ire of their head coach Olga Hrycak, who could be heard from the hallway berating her team for the lackluster performance.
“When we give a game away I’m not very happy, and I mean that, because we can play 10 times better than we did,” the frustrated Hrycak told reporters afterwards.
Offensive rebounding was a specific area of disdain for the fuming coach, who saw her team out-rebounded 17-9 on the offensive glass. “Concordia killed us on the offensive boards; they certainly didn’t kill us with their three-point shooting,” she said, alluding to Concordia’s ugly night beyond the arc, making only three of 18 three-point field goals. Hrycak did commend Concordia, though, for being able to prevail in another tough game. “They have that killer instinct and we just don’t right now.”
The game’s start was also delayed over two hours after Concordia’s Sheldon Moore channeled his inner Shaq in warmups and shattered the glass backboard with a dunk. Unfortunately, the RSEQ is not the NBA, and replacing the backboard was not a quick job, delaying the start of the game over two hours. “We’re not really sure why it took so long,” said Stingers coach John Dore.
While the delay affected both teams, Stingers forward Kafil Eyitayo believes the wait played a part in the Stingers slow start. “To try and get our focus back and then start the game was a little bit hard,” he said.
Concordia looked sloppy in the first quarter, trailing by six into the break. However, the Stingers went on a 10-0 run midway through the second quarter, and took a four point lead into halftime.
In almost a mirror image of last week against UQAM, though, Concordia let the Citadins back into the game by committing several fouls. The result was a 15-point lead getting whittled down to four in just over three minutes.
“It seems like every time we play UQAM we have a big stretch where we just put them on the free-throw line for five minutes straight and all they do is (score points) with no time going off the clock,” said Stingers guard Kyle Desmarais, who scored a season low seven points on the night.
The Citadins were able to hang around, trailing by six in the game’s final minute, before an Evens Laroche jump-shot sealed the victory for Concordia. Laroche led the Stingers in scoring with 17 points and has been arguably their best all-around player the past two games.
Another factor Moore’s dunk had on the game was that the net was not regulation height, after it was improperly installed when the glass was fixed. The rim was 10 feet two inches high for the game, which is two inches higher than regulation. The officials conferred before the game with both coaches and agreed that the game would be played regardless.
“It’s something both teams had to deal with,” said Dore. “But if you look at how many first foul shots were missed at that end of the floor it was a tough adjustment for the players to make.”
The video of the dunk has already made its way on to YouTube and has created some buzz.
“I had some people from Laval who had heard about it, calling me,” said Dore. “It’s good that it has created some conversation about our team.”
Dore is hoping the proper adjustments are made in time for the Stingers’ home game against McGill next Saturday.
The Stingers’ next game is on the road Friday Jan. 20 at 8 p.m. against Laval.