Ricardo Monge scores 22 in the win; Myriam Leclerc drops 26 in a losing effort
The Concordia Stingers basketball teams split a doubleheader against McGill Thursday night at the Concordia gym. It was the first set of a back-to-back series between the rival schools.
The men’s team defeated the McGill Redmen 86-69, as they dominated on all aspects of the game. Despite a slow start during the first five minutes when McGill took an 11-2 lead, Concordia stayed focused and got right back in the game.
From good defence to three-point shots made, the Stingers executed perfectly and that’s what allowed them to succeed. After scoring just 12 points in two games last weekend against Bishop’s, point guard Ricardo Monge came out really strong. He finished the game with 22 points, 10 assists, and 6 rebounds. Head coach Rastko Popovic described his game in one word: fantastic.
“I was trying to come out aggressive,” said Monge about bouncing back from last weekend. “I just took advantage of the miss-match we had.”
“Overall it’s a good win,” Popovic said. “There are still things we need to improve. We’ll have a good practice and be ready for Saturday.”
Popovic acknowledged that McGill was missing their best player and league-leading scorer, Alex Paquin, which affected them. But he added that a hand injury to Concordia veteran Cedrick Coriolan also affected play.
The head coach was satisfied by the play of guards Anthony Sanogo and Oge Nwoko. Sanogo had 12 points in 27 minutes coming off the bench, while Nwoko had eight points in 13 minutes. “I’m really impressed with how those guys stepped up,” Popovic said.
The women’s team lost 63-58 to the Martlets after a tough battle. Concordia didn’t have a strong start to the first half, and were down by 11 points at halftime.
They bounced back in the second half and, even though McGill increased their lead to 16 points, Concordia came back and took the lead midway through the fourth quarter. Despite a game-high 26 points from point guard Myriam Leclerc, the Martlets scored eight-straight points to close off the game and seal the win.
Despite a good finish that almost resulted in a win, head coach Tenisha Gittens was quite unhappy after the game. She said her team did not have a good start. “We couldn’t put the ball in the basket,” Gittens said. “To me, it’s not the end of the game [that matters]. We started the game poorly […]; we didn’t do a good job defending.”
Gittens also said her team didn’t work hard enough during the week, which contributed to the loss. “Unfortunately, I knew that this would happen because of the way we practiced,” the head coach said.
She also gave credit to McGill and expected that they would be ready to play their first game of 2019: “They have one of the best coaches in the country,” Gittens said. “I think we had some sparks, but at the end of the day, it was not enough.”
The men improved their record to 7-1, while the women dropped to 6-2 on the year.
Main photo by Gabe Chevalier.