Men’s team extends league-best record while women fall for third-straight game
The Concordia Stingers basketball teams split a pair of games against the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) Citadins Thursday night at the Concordia Gym. It was the first of two doubleheaders between the schools this weekend.
The Stingers won the game 70-67, but it was a game filled with inconsistency. “I was very disappointed with how we executed on both ends, offensively and defensively,” said Stingers head coach Rastko Popovic.
The Stingers started the game strong, collecting rebounds and drawing fouls, and got up to a quick 7-2 lead within the first three minutes. They soon found themselves down 12-7 after the Citadins put together a 10-0 run to pull ahead, but the Stingers ended the quarter up 15-14.
Their lead fell apart very quickly as the Stingers found themselves down 30-20 just over halfway through the second quarter. Popovic called a timeout to rejuvenate his guys. “I just told them they will beat us if we play this way, and they responded well,” Popovic said.
After the timeout, the Stingers went on a 12-2 run and went into halftime tied at 32. The third quarter saw the Stingers fall behind 51-44 six minutes in. However, they closed the period by cutting the Citadins lead down to 55-51.
The fourth quarter was the team’s best, which saw Stingers guard Ricardo Monge score six points to grab a 61-58 lead. He finished the game with 11 points, three assists, and three steals.
The Citadins took back the lead with three minutes remaining, but the Stingers used their home-court advantage to dominate the last minutes and win.
Popovic said the Stingers reduced their turnovers in the second half, from 13 to three, which helped them win.
The first quarter saw the Stingers and Citadins trade chances. However the Citadins, who came into the game with a 1-8 record, had a 19-18 lead after the opening quarter.
The second quarter was led by Stingers star guard Myriam Leclerc, who helped her team grab a 33-30 lead at the half. Leclerc led all scorers with 17 points after two quarters, and finished the game with 29 points.
The Stingers’s momentum started to slip away in the third quarter. The Citadins’ centre Inga Aleksaite dominated the early part of the quarter on both ends of the floor. Despite this, the Stingers were able to keep the game close by putting up a 6-0 run to end the quarter, but were still down, at 51-49.
Concordia tied the game at 61 with two minutes left in the fourth after some good defence and rebounding. However, the game slipped away from the Stingers, as the Citadins scored seven points in the final minutes, and Concordia only scored two.
“UQAM came in hungrier than us,” said head coach Tenicha Gittens. “They came in and took it from us.”
The men’s team improved to 10-2 on the year while the women dropped to 7-5. They each play the Citadins today at UQAM, with the women tipping off at 2 p.m.
Main photo by Gabe Chevalier.