Stingers end home preseason tour with tournament victory
The Concordia Stingers played their toughest opponent of the preseason thus far in an 82-70 win over the University of Prince Edward Island Panthers, in Saturday afternoon’s Concordia Classic Tournament fixture.
Both teams headed into the game undefeated. A year ago, the Panthers finished second in Atlantic University Sports conference but were eliminated by the Saint-Mary’s Huskies in the semi-finals. The Stingers defeated the Panthers 82-70 to clinch the Concordia Classic Tournament. Concordia’s guard Jaleel Webb had a double-double in the victory with 20 points and 13 rebounds.
The Stingers started the game slow as the Panthers scored the game’s first six points. The Panthers ended up regaining the lead and led 18-15 after the first quarter.
The Panthers scored the first points of the second quarter with a basket by guard Zachary Usherwood. The Stingers then stormed back with a 7-0 run which included another Schnieders Suffrard three-pointer. The Stingers continued to excel from beyond the arc as Webb netted three three pointers in the second quarter.
The Stingers opened the third quarter with a basket by point guard Ricardo Monge. UPEI at one point cut the Stingers lead to four points thanks to a timely three pointer by Panthers guard Jake Kendrick. Monge answered back to establish the Stingers advantage going off for back-to-back threes.
The fourth quarter got off to a very slow start as both teams had trouble scoring baskets. Stingers forward Ken Beaulieu finally broke the deadlock and got the first point of the quarter with a made free throw. The Panthers did make it interesting as they went on an early 6-0 run to make it a three point game, but a three pointer by Webb cut their chances for the win.
Webb, the second-year guard for the Stingers, was named the Concordia Classic Tournament MVP. Webb had 41 points and 24 rebounds in three games.
“It’s a nice accomplishment. I hope it is one of many for me this year,” Webb said. Head coach Rastko Popovic was proud of his team’s defence in the win. “Our defense played with great intensity and held [UPEI] to 70 points when they have scored over 90 points in their last five preseason games,” Popovic said.
The win was a personal one for Stingers forward Michael Fosu who was formerly a member of the University of New Brunswick basketball program. “We went to UPEI and they beat us by 20 points. I wanted payback and I wanted to beat them on my home court,” said Fosu.
The Stingers played their last home exhibition game of the preseason circuit and now head out west to compete in the Saskatchewan Tournament. They will play stiff competition in the Saskatchewan Huskies and the University of Windsor Lancers, both of whom made it to last season’s CIS final eight.