Nike tourney gold eludes Stingers

After obliterating the competition in their opening match of the Nike
tournament, the Concordia men’s basketball team lost in the championship match Saturday afternoon to the Dalhousie Tigers by a score of 62-41.
Friday night the Stingers defeated A.S. Montlouis 114-24, showing their ability to control all offensive aspects of the game. However, Saturday the Stingers played a team who was more than equal to the task of competing with them on their level and on their court.
The first 10 minutes of the game could be described as lacklustre, at best, as both teams had trouble penetrating the defense and completing open looks from the perimeter.
Dalhousie then took control of the game, first by scoring off an offensive
rebound, something which would play a major factor throughout the game, and then with one of their forwards hitting a shot on the run.
The Tigers put distance between themselves and the Stingers as guard Gavin Musgrave had the ball stripped at half-court, leading to an uncontested lay-up and a 17-9 lead for Dalhousie.
The Concordia offence did their best to keep the score close with guard Louis Vigneault hitting a big three-pointer to cut the lead to five points.
Despite the effort though, the home team was unable to put together a solid scoring run and eventually slipped back again, a result of unwise turnovers and missing far too many rebounds at both ends.
As the first half came to a close, the Stingers found themselves trailing by a score of 27-18 but still easily within striking distance.
Concordia continued to struggle at the beginning of the second half, once again giving up rebounds on the inside to the Tigers big centre and unable to complete their own drives. The Stingers quickly found themselves behind 35-20 less than five minutes into the back half.
For the next several minutes the teams played on a more equal level. And with less than 9 minutes remaining and trailing by 18 points, the Stingers made a final effort to get back in the game.
First Vigneault drilled a shot from just inside the three-point arc for two.
Then on the Stingers next offensive possession, forward Sidney Shreves, who had a team-high 12 points, made a tough shot from inside the key and drew a foul to set-up a three-point play. He made the free throw, cutting the lead to 13 with just under 6 minutes left.
Dalhousie would not let Concordia get any closer as they would come back with consecutive baskets and would eventually get it up to a 20-point lead.
From there, the Stingers were forced to play desperate basketball in an attempt to get back into the game, throwing up three-pointers and other low-percentage shots, now out of necessity rather than poor decision-making as was the case earlier in the game. The Stingers would pull within 16 points but would inevitably surrender, losing by the 62-41 margin.
The game was followed by the awards presentation and the announcement of the tournament all-star team, of which Concordia forward Patrice Bernard and Vigneault were named to.
When the hand-outs were finished, the Stingers quickly took off for the showers clearly not happy with their performance.
“We played a terrible first half,” said guard Philippe Langlois. “We just didn’t play good, that’s all I have to say.”
Coach John Dore echoed Langlois’ comments.
“We had poor decision-making and a lack of intensity,” Dore said. “Thank God this happened early in the year so we’ll have time to work out those problems.”

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