Stingers fall to Gaiters

Despite a late surge in the second half, it was too little too late for the Concordia Stingers women’s basketball team, who fell to the Bishop’s Gaiters 51-42 at the Loyola Sports complex last Wednesday during the QSSF semifinal.
The Gaiters set the tone in the early going with four straight baskets to start things rolling for the visiting squad. The hole the Gaiters dug for the Stingers to try and scratch and claw out of was the theme of the entire game.
Melissa Lemay, a 6’2″ forward for the Gaiters, was a powerful force on the boards in the first half, snatching up seven rebounds for the game. Concordia’s Kristina Steinfort responded with some tough rebounding of her own, and
contributed nine points in the game for the Stingers.
Concordia didn’t help their own cause also, missing many opportunities to land some much needed hoops. With the score 24-13 for the Gaiters, Stinger head coach Keith Pruden called a time out to rally the troops.
“Bishop’s was very loose and shot the ball very well in the first half. It’s very hard to play from behind, particularly in a big game.”
The Gaiters, however, kept a near 10-point lead throughout the half, even reaching a 13-point advantage later on in the frame. The visitors took their time with the ball, using all of the 30 seconds on the shot clock to their
advantage. With some impressive ball movement in the Stingers end, they kept the home team on it’s heels for most of the game.
Just when you thought Concordia was back in the game, Bishop’s would return the favour and douse the flames. Coach Pruden showed his frustration during the dying moments of the first, getting a technical foul with a mere 33 seconds remaining.
The Stingers went into the dressing room having to play catch-up, down 34-23 at the half.
“They [Bishop’s] made their shots and we didn’t,” said Pruden. “We had some very
good looks in the second half, but we couldn’t get anything to go in and we couldn’t get a call from the referees.”
Bishop’s picked up where the left off in the first, however, holding off the Concordia attack to keep their lead. The Stingers again had a rough time draining shots, but kept the pace with the Gaiters to keep the possibility of a comeback alive throughout the half. Pruden called another timeout at 15:21 to light a fire under his team-and it worked.
Concordia tightened the defense in their own end of the court, waiting out Bishop’s who committed two shot-clock violations as a result. Then, Stinger guard Marie-Pier Veilleux seemed to single-handedly bring momentum back into the sails of the team. Her enthusiastic play led to four steals, and going 5/16 from
the field for a team high 10 points.
“We tried to do something a little different on defense in our zone, trying to take away Bishop’s inside game because that’s their real strength and make them take perimeter shots,” said Pruden. “But when you can’t score from the other end, it doesn’t matter much.”
Veilleux’s team followed her lead as well, making things happen on the court and slowly chipping away at the Gaiter’s lead. Forward Valerie Bain reduced the lead to seven with a nice rebound and a lay up for two. Jessica Manchester added salt to the wound, and helped the Stingers come within five. It seemed as though Concordia was on the verge of storming back, creating a number of turnovers for
many scoring chances. The basketball gods weren’t on the team’s side on this day, however, as the Stingers couldn’t hit key shots to gain anymore ground.
The closest the home squad could come was within three.
Working the clock, Bishop’s slowly began to regain control and swiftly took back their lead, one which they never relinquished all game.

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