The Concordia Stingers men’s basketball team fell to the McGill Redmen 70-49 in the second leg of the home-and-home series at the McGill University Love Competition Hall on Saturday night.
The two sides faced off this past Thursday night in part one of a Concordia verses McGill doubleheader in which the Stingers took the victory with a score of 69-67 at the Loyola gym.
Riding an eight-game winning streak, Concordia came into this game without the services of forward Michael Fosu.
McGill opened the scoring with a couple of well-timed plays by guards Michael Peterkin and Dele Ogundokun, while Concordia responded with a three-pointer from forward Mukiya Post.
Concordia seemed tentative in its attacking plays, and a tight-knit McGill defence prevented most of the Stingers’ scoring opportunities under the hoop.
At the other end of the court, communication problems showed in Concordia’s defence as McGill made a couple of big scoring drives, and the first quarter came to an end with a score of 23-9 in favour of the home team.
The second quarter saw Stingers guard Adam Chmielewski and Stingers forward Zander Jean capitalize on scoring opportunities. Jean nailed a three-pointer late in the quarter, which came to a close with a score of 34-21 – a lead which the Redmen held from start to finish.
McGill would be the first to score in the second half, while a personal foul committed by Redmen forward François Bourque would see Concordia’s Jean-André Moussignac come through clutch and secure two points on ensuing free throws.
Chmielewski was relentless in his attacking efforts, savagely dribbling through McGill’s defence, at one point even taking out two Redmen as he tried to make his way to the net. He showed great leadership on the court, communicating with his teammates and making important forward assisting plays, many of which, however, ended up just being swallowed up by McGill’s airtight defence.
Ogundokun impressed as he vehemently fought Concordia’s efforts to get back into the game, making big plays to deny the scoring efforts of Concordia’s forwards. The Stingers eventually became overwhelmed by McGill’s offensive pressure in the fourth quarter, as the Redmen nailed three-pointer after three-pointer to bring the game to an end with a score of 70-49 in their favour.
“I felt we weren’t prepared,” said Stingers’ guard Inti Salinas of his team’s performance. “We weren’t mentally strong in this game, and against McGill you have to be mentally strong. I don’t feel they’re much better than us, but they just played harder than us. Next time we ought to come more prepared.”
Following a battled win on Thursday against a strong Redmen side, Concordia’s wear on Saturday night was visible. The hostile home crowd made themselves heard, and the Stingers just seemed like they were missing something in the tank. A healthy McGill side came into the game eager to avenge its loss.
“We played poorly. We were playing with a lot of adversity because Michael Fosu was out, we didn’t step up, they deserve a lot of credit,” said Concordia Head Coach, John Dore. “They outplayed us, they outhustled us, they outworked us. We were kind of licking our wounds, maybe, from the Fosu incident. They deserved it. We have to think about the next one coming up.”
Concordia will head to Bishop’s University on Friday, Feb. 7 to face the Gaiters, who play McGill twice next week before welcoming the Stingers.