Men’s basketball edged by Rouge et Or

The Concordia Stingers men’s basketball team suffered a 70-65 loss at the hands of the Laval Rouge et Or in their semi-final game at Loyola last Thursday night.
“(Tonight’s game) was a fairly well-played game, fairly intense, (but) we just couldn’t finish what we started in the beginning,” commented Stingers’ head coach John Dore following the game.
Coach Dore’s team came out strong in the game’s first half. After giving up the first basket to Laval during the second minute of play, the Stingers turned it up a notch and settled into their game plan. They capitalized on Laval’s
numerous turnovers and played strong defensively, including a monster block by
centre Real Kitieu on Laval guard David Brownrigg.
The Stingers systematically built up their lead on Laval by scoring several three-point shots, led by guard Gavin Musgrave with two in the half.
The Rouge et Or began pressing in the final three minutes of play of the first half. Having started the game off with many turnovers and with difficulty controlling the ball, the Rouge et Or became more aggressive in the offensive
zone and were able to control their own rebounds. Laval slowly ate away at Concordia’s lead, and the first half ended by a 36-32 score in favour of the Stingers.
The second half was marked by a myriad of fouls from both teams. With the score tied 58-58 with just a little over six minutes remaining in the game, Laval began to pull away, while the Stingers were losing momentum. The Rouge et Or
displayed quick transition passing and pressured the Stingers in their own zone.
Laval proved to be opportunistic and capitalized on huge rebounds and Concordia
turnovers in the final minutes of the game. “We made a lot of mistakes. We seemed to have quite a few turnovers, especially at critical times in the end of the game, and you can’t win games when you turn the ball over,” added coach Dore.
Despite Musgrave’s two-for-two free-throw performance when fouled with under a minute to go to, bringing the Stingers within one point of Laval at 66-65, Concordia committed two costly fouls which made them lose control of the ball,and ultimately the game. Laval guard Charles Fortier netted a two-point basket
and two free-throws to put the game out of the Stingers’ reach at 70-65. The Rouge et Or’s best offensive player was centre Marc-Antoine Horth with 28 points.
Musgrave attributed his team’s loss to a lack of vigilance at three key moments in the dying minutes of the game. “I think what hurt us the most was when the shot clock was running down and we’d fall asleep, and they got three lay-ups
just as the shot clock was going off,” he said. “We didn’t come up with that key rebound and they did, and that’s why they won the game down the stretch.”

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