Just two weeks ago, the Concordia Stingers were the class of the RSEQ. The team was riding a six-game winning streak and was poised to run away with the conference.
My, how things have changed.
Lately the Stingers have underperformed, resulting in a five-game losing streak. They now trail first place McGill by six points. This past weekend, Concordia was facing two of the conference’s weaker teams and was expecting to snap out of its struggles. Unfortunately for the Stingers, the games aren’t won on paper.
This time, though, it was Laval’s turn to eke out a win. Concordia amassed a 13-point lead in the first half, only to watch the wheels fall off in the third and fourth quarters. Laval outscored the Stingers 17-6 and 21-15 in the final two quarters, leaving the Loyola gym with a 56-52 victory.
This wasn’t the end of the Stingers’ troubles; the weekend reached its nadir on Saturday. Matched up against last place UQAM, a team Concordia had blown out twice already this season, the Stingers seemed to get back on track early, outscoring UQAM 24-13 in the opening quarter.
But when it rains it pours.
The Stingers imploded in the second quarter getting outscored 21-11 and were unable to regroup in the second half. After grinding out the third, Concordia brought a five-point lead into the game’s final quarter, only to allow UQAM to run away with the game in the final 10 minutes, leaving the Stingers with their most lopsided loss of the season.
The frustration around the team is undoubtedly building as head coach Keith Pruden is refusing to allow any players or coaches to speak with the media. Pruden himself could not be reached for comment either.
The recent play of Kaylah Barrett is also cause for concern. After a blazing start, Barrett has struggled during the losing streak, not scoring more than 12 points in a game and shooting just 20 per cent from the field. The uncharacteristic struggles leave people to wonder whether or not Barrett is playing with an unknown injury.
Concordia is now battling for second place with the Bishop’s Gaiters, who they are two points ahead of in the standings.