Concordia takes on the first-place Martlets in provincial playoffs
After four months of playing basketball, the Stingers will be heading into the RSEQ final four on Mar. 10 where they will be playing the McGill Martlets who are ranked first in the nation.
The Stingers finished the season with a record of 7-9. The team was swept by the Martlets this season, losing all four games. The two times the Stingers played the Martlets at McGill, they lost by five and two points respectively. The Stingers have not beaten McGill in two years with their last win being on Feb. 22, 2014.
The team has a tough job ahead of them if they want to beat the Martlets. McGill finished first in the RSEQ in terms of offense and defense. They averaged 63.5 points per game and their opponents averaged 51.0 points per game. They are also an excellent shooting team as they led the RSEQ in field goal percentage, making 346 shots out of 840.
The Martlets are led by third-year centre Alexandria Kiss-Rusk and fourth-year forward and reigning RSEQ MVP Mariam Sylla. Kiss-Rusk was fourth in RSEQ scoring with 203 points, while averaging 13.5 points per game. She led the conference in field goal percentage with 53.3 per cent and led in blocked shots with 31.
Sylla led the conference in rebounding for a third year in a row with 97 rebounds. She also scored 144 points in 11 games. The Martlets’ secret weapon is first-year guard Gladys Hakizimana who scored 181 points this year. The last time these two teams met, Hakizimana scored 19 points.
The Stingers on the other hand are a defensive-minded team as they led the RSEQ in forced turnovers. They had 361 takeaways this season.
The Stingers will depend heavily on their three-point shooting as they made 82 shots from three-point line this season. Stingers fourth-year shooting guard Marie-Ève Martin led the conference in three-pointers made with 32. The Stingers will need strong performances from their one-two punch of fourth-year all-star forward Marilyse Roy-Viau and third-year forward Richelle Gregoire if they want to pull off the upset. Roy-Viau scored 222 points in 15 games this year, which was good enough to be third in the conference. Gregoire scored 241 points in 15 games which placed her second in the conference.
The last time the Stingers played McGill, Gregoire scored 25 points while the Martlets held Roy-Viau to just nine points. The Stingers two X-factors will be their bench and second-year shooting guard Aurélie d’Anjou Drouin. The Stingers bench this season combined for 112 points which included 46 points by rookie guard Latifah Roach. D’Anjou Drouin has improved her play over the last two years. She started the year coming off the bench but since the second-half of the season she has become a regular starter. She scored 97 points in 377 minutes this year.
If the Stingers defeat the Martlets, they will either play Laval or UQÀM for the RSEQ title. The Stingers women’s basketball team has not won an RSEQ championship since 1998.