The Concordia Stingers men’s basketball team fought off a third quarter comeback attempt by the Laval Rouge et Or last Saturday afternoon, winning 74-59 at home.
The Stingers got off to a convincing start in the game. Stingers guard Adam Chmielewski led the offense in the first quarter. He beat the
shot clock two and a half minutes in to give Concordia a 6-2 lead with his three-pointer.
With two minutes to go in the quarter, Chmielewski pulled down a defensive rebound and passed the ball to guard Jerome Blake down the court. Blake converted a three-pointer to put the Stingers up 23-15.
Chmielewski’s buzzer-beating three ball gave Concordia a 10-point lead to end the first quarter. The Stingers were hot behind the arc, hitting five threes in the quarter.
The maroon and gold kept up their high-powered offence. With just under six and a half minutes to play, the Stingers had a commanding 19-point lead.
Rouge et Or got back into the game after scoring nine unanswered points, bringing the score to 37-27.
In the dying seconds of the second quarter, after a missed three-point shot, the Stingers pulled down an offensive rebound to keep possession of the basketball. Chmielewski’s jumper gave Concordia a 42-29 lead at the half.
The Rouge et Or closed in on the Stingers lead to start the third. After giving up an early Kyle Desmarais basket, Laval went on an 8-0 run to narrow the score to 44-37. They eventually made it a five-point game after guard Laurier Beaulac-Dufresne successfully made his shot with 4:46 to go.
That was the closest the Rouge et Or would get to pulling even in the game, as the Stingers began to pull away again. Concordia scored eight straight points to end the quarter and, more importantly, gave the team a sizeable 61-46 lead.
“We lost our head a bit [in the third quarter],” said Chmielewski. “We didn’t communicate to each other. A team is going to make a run eventually, that’s how basketball is. When teams feel pressure, when they’re down, they have nothing to lose anymore. They’re playing desperate, so obviously they’re going to come back.”
With Laval desperately trying to muster their way back into the game, Concordia held firm as both teams cancelled each other out scoring 13 points in the final frame. The final buzzer rang with the Stingers’ winning by 15 points
Desmarais was the maroon and gold’s highest scorer, finishing with 20 points, seven steals and three assists. Laroche and Chmielewski ended with 14 points and nine points respectively, while Morgan Tajfel scored 10 points coming off the bench.
“We kept the pressure on offensively,” said Concordia head coach John Dore. “We made it a fast game up and down. We had a few turnovers, but we were able to finish our shots. We controlled the tempo of the game. We pressed them full court and we ran the floor well.”
The second-place Stingers will now head to Bishop’s University to take on the first-place Gaiters on Friday, Feb. 8. at 8 p.m. The game is available online on SSN.