Women’s basketball team gets blown out in preseason opener
The Stingers women’s basketball team played the Queen’s Gaels Friday night in their first game of the year.
It was a blowout as Queen’s won 67-47. Queen’s finished second in the OUA east division last season with a record of 11-8 and were eliminated by the Ryerson Rams in the OUA semi-finals. The Stingers finished third a year ago in the RSEQ with a record of 7-9 and were defeated in the RSEQ semi-finals by the UQAM Citadins.
Friday night’s game did bring some hope to Stingers fans for what the team will look like in the 2015-2016 season as two newcomers shone despite the loss. Shooting guard Marie-Eve Martin had 18 points and forward Shanica Baker had a double-double with 12 points and ten rebounds.
Queen’s dominated the game from beginning to end as they led the Stingers 21-12 after the first quarter, at one point leading 12-3. The second quarter saw each team make a couple of three-pointers. Stingers forward Richelle Gregoire had two three-pointers in the quarter. Unfortunately for the Stingers, they were still down 40-23 at halftime. The Gaels, however, knocked in seven three-pointers in the first half of play.
Queen’s continued their dominance after halftime as they scored 16 points and led 56-35. The Stingers came out strong in the fourth, scoring the first couple of points of the quarter on baskets by forward Marilyse Roy-Viau and forward Shanica Baker.
The Stingers played their best game in the fourth quarter holding Queen’s to eleven points.
The 2015-2016 Stingers only have four returning players from last year’s team including RSEQ first team all-star Marilyse Roy-Viau. Roy-Viau has been an RSEQ all-star team for the past three seasons and will be looked to this year to demonstrate leadership and toughness on the court. Last year, she led the RSEQ in scoring with 252 points in 16 games and averaged 15.8 points per game.
The Stingers will have to fill a big void this year as two-time RSEQ MVP and three-time All-Canadian Kaylah Barrett has graduated. Barrett last year placed second in RSEQ scoring with 244 points and averaged 15.3 points per a game. In addition, the Stingers also will not have last season’s three-pointer specialist, Daphne Thouin who led the RSEQ in three-pointers made with 21 threes.
Lastly, the Stingers also have a new coach in Tenicha Gittens. Gittens replaced Keith Pruden who was with the Stingers for 20 years. She is a Montreal native but has been in the U.S.A. for the past eight years. She played a year of basketball with Hofstra University, and most recently was an assistant coach with St. Francis University and Howard University.
The newcomers to watch out for this season are Marie-Eve Martin who had been playing for McGill Martlets for three years. Martin is a two-time RSEQ all-star. Shanica Baker who last year played for the University of Tampa in NCAA Division II. She had 46 points in 21 games with limited minutes.
The Stingers next game is against defending national champions, the Windsor Lancers, on Oct. 16 at Loyola.