Stingers sweep the Citadins; both Concordia teams now have a 4-1 record
The Concordia Stingers basketball teams beat the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) Citadins in a doubleheader on Saturday afternoon at the Concordia Gym.
Despite a 64-53 victory, the Stingers had a rough first half—something head coach Tenicha Gittens was quick to change at halftime. Her team played with character and pride in the second half to help them to the win.
“We started it off slow in the first half,” Gittens said. “We didn’t follow the game plan defensively and we weren’t competitive on the glass.”
With the game tied at 26, Gittens had a clear message for her team at halftime: to protect home court. “We pride ourselves on defence, and UQAM is a very good team,” she said.
The head coach said her players acknowledged their initial poor performance and adjusted to have a better second half.
“The key was defence,” Gittens said. “We forced turnovers.”
The Stingers were quick on rebounds and made good passes in the second half. They had proper positioning both offensively and defensively. After taking the lead early in the third quarter, the Stingers didn’t let go of the lead for the rest of the game.
Although UQAM—with its 0-5 record—is not a top-ranking team in the standings, Gittens said she was impressed by how the Citadins challenged her team.
Offensively, point guard Myriam Leclerc led the Stingers with a solid performance, scoring 25 points. Her three three-pointers certainly helped the Stingers increase their lead, but Gittens said she was also happy with how the team played defensively.
“When you look at the turnovers and the rebounds, it made a big difference and was a key in today’s win,” she said.
Speed, preparation and accuracy helped the Stingers in their 83-59 win over the Citadins. Their defence quashed most of UQAM’s scoring opportunities, and the Stingers made the most of their time with the ball, hitting 12/35 three-point attempts.
“I am happy the way we played and the way we competed,” said Stingers head coach Rastko Popovic.
After a disappointing 17-point loss to the Citadins on Nov. 15, the Stingers were ready for redemption. “This was a very, very important game for us,” Popovic said.
The team’s preparation was evident; they dominated from the start, on a high from two consecutive wins last weekend. Stingers guard Cedrick Coriolan said he was pleased with the way his team played.
“They key was our defence; we kept them under 70 points which is usually our goal,” Coriolan said. “We followed the scouting report perfectly, and that allowed us to earn the win.”
Stingers point guard Ricardo Monge dominated offensively, recording the game-high in points with 22, but Popovic said the victory was a full-team effort.
“Everyone who showed up on the court today played well,” Popovic said. “I thought the guys executed the game plan as a team. Everybody is responsible for our success.”
The head coach stressed the importance of this win, which allows the Stingers to head into the winter break in first place. “They are buying in now, and they understand what’s necessary to win,” he said. “You don’t want to lose your last game before the break and think about it for weeks. That is a big win for us.”
Both basketball teams are off for the winter break and will be back on Jan. 10 with a home doubleheader against the Bishop’s University Gaiters.
Main photo by Mackenzie Lad.