In their final two matches of the season, the Concordia Stingers women’s basketball team finished with a win and an overtime loss. In the first game of the week, the Stingers hosted the Bishop’s Gaiters at Concordia Gym on Thursday night. Two days later, Concordia travelled to Quebec City to face the Laval Rouge et Or.
Against the Gaiters, the maroon and gold got off to a flying start. Guard Ashley Clarke had the hot hand, scoring 10 points straight in a
span of five minutes. She finished the game with 21 points, playing a total of 25 minutes. Concordia’s strong quarter gave the team a 22-8 lead going into the second.
Continuing their dominance from the first quarter, the Stingers went on a 15-0 run in the first five minutes of the second. The home team led as much as 24 points. The Gaiters slowly started to hit a few baskets and suddenly scored nine unanswered points to reduce the deficit.
By halftime, Concordia still had a comfortable 15 point lead, 34-19.
As the score suggested, it looked like it was going to be another relatively easy win for the Stingers. In three games against Bishop’s this season, ConU had a perfect 3-0 record and won by an average of 18 points.
In the third quarter, the Stingers kept up their high-tempo offence. Halfway through the frame, their 24 point lead was restored. But much like the end of the second quarter, thanks to some unforced turnovers from the Stingers, the Gaiters managed to cut the deficit to 16 points.
Both teams went back and forth in the final quarter. With just over two minutes to go, Concordia had their largest lead of the game. A seven point run saw them jump up to a 25 point lead. As the final buzzer went, the Stingers won handily 70-51.
After Clarke’s team-leading 21 points, guard Kaylah Barrett added 13 points. Five other ConU players had more than five points each. Center Serginha Estime pulled down eight of the team’s 40 rebounds.
Despite the result, Stingers head coach Keith Pruden still believes his team needs to tighten up on defence and not give up easy turnovers on offence.
“We have to be more consistent at both ends,” he said. “We can’t afford to give people the kind of easy looks we gave up in the fourth quarter for example. We just can’t give up those kinds of transition layups. We certainly can’t turn the ball over as often. We got to hold the turnovers to under a dozen for the game, otherwise we’re giving teams quality opportunities to score.”
On Saturday against the Rouge et Or, an overtime was needed to find a winner. Laval pulled off a 67-62 win. Despite the result, Concordia’s loss had no effect on the standings. The Stingers still finished in second place in the RSEQ conference.
“I’m okay with where we are at right now, but we’re not playing exactly how I want to,” said Pruden. “We’re going to have to tune some stuff for the playoffs.”
Concordia will face the UQÀM Citadins in the first round of the playoffs this Wednesday at Concordia Gym. The Stingers have won all four season meetings against the Citadins this season. Tipoff is at 7 p.m.