It’s been an up and down season for Concordia’s men’s basketball team. They once had a six-game winning streak in Canadian Interuniversity Sports (CIS) league play, but have quickly dropped their last three. Concordia’s latest defeat came Saturday afternoon at the hands of the Bishop’s Gaiters, 64-61.
The Stingers are .500 as their record now sits at 6-6, third in the Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec (RSEQ) conference. On Saturday, the Stingers battled hard and won 40 of the rebounds. Stingers centre Zach Brisebois dominated the paint and had nine rebounds in the loss. The Stingers are ranked eighth in CIS total rebounds per game.
The Stingers started the game with a bang as forward Zander Jean hit a three pointer to open the scoring. The Gaiters would respond and go on a roll of their own, scoring 20 unanswered points. The run included two three-pointers, by Gaiters forward Majid Naji and guard Sage Holder to end the quarter.
The Stingers only scored eight points in the first quarter and Concordia’s frustration began to show. Late in the opening quarter, the Stingers head coach, John Dore, received a technical foul for arguing with the refs.
The Gaiters scored first in the second quarter with a three-pointer by guard Jona Bermillo to extend their lead to 23-8. Within seconds, however, the Stingers would respond with a three-pointer of their own by guard Jean-Andre Moussignac. Stingers forward, Mukiya Post, would hit another three-pointer later in the quarter and cut the Gaiters lead to seven. Just as the Stingers seemed back in it, Bishop’s guard, Onnex Blackwood, hit back-to-back three pointers and extended the Gaiters lead to 10. By the end of the first half, the Stingers were slowly crawling back into the game, trailing 40-30.
The halftime pep talk seemed to work as the home crowd saw a different Stingers team emerge from the locker room in the second half. Brisebois and Concordia forward, Michael Fosu, made consecutive jump shots and quickly cut the Gaiters lead to six. The Stingers went on a 12-1 run midway through the third quarter and were out in front 42-41. By the time the third quarter was over, the Stingers held a 48-44 lead, shocking the Gaiters.
As the fourth quarter began, the Gaiters were on a mission not to let the game slip away. Gaiters centre Mike Andrews got the first basket of the fourth quarter. The Gaiters would then take the lead with a basket by forward Dave Belanger, making it 52-50.
The game came down to the final three minutes of play. At the time, the score was tied 58-58 after a field goal by Stingers point guard Adam Chmielewski. Unfortunately, that was as close as Concordia got. Bishop’s went on 6-0 run to close out the game, handing Concordia their third straight loss.