Rouge et Or too much for Stinger men

The men’s basketball team had the unenviable task of taking on the country’s fourth ranked ball club, the Laval Rouge et Or, in their home opener on Saturday.
After keeping things close for the first 10 minutes Concordia eventually let the flood gates open as they lost by a score of 102-80 in their regular season debut.
It was not a game they were supposed to win but the dominant size and experience of the Rouge et Or was not the only reason for the lopsided score.
“When you’re overmatched like that you have to play a smarter game,” head coach John Dore said.
The early stages of the game had the Stingers showing some resilience as they refused Laval’s efforts to take a big lead early. After the first few minutes in which both teams had trouble breaking down the opposing defence Concordia went on a modest 6-0 run to take a 16-10 lead.
This quick offensive surge came as Laval turned the ball over three times over the course of the mini-run.
Rookie guard Philippe Langlois helped out by finishing off a pair of breakaway baskets as a result of Laval’s early ball handling problems.
Although they looked to be in good shape, the tables quickly turned on the Stingers as Laval went on an 8-0 run of their own with six of those points coming from the free throw line.
Trailing 20-18 Concordia guard Louis Vigneault hit an off-balance 3-pointer to retake the lead. While the shot itself held little significance it would turn out to be the last time that the Stingers would hold the lead.
The free throw line continued to hurt the Stingers throughout the half. This wasn’t only a result of Laval’s good shooting, finishing 24 for 37, but also a rough night for Concordia as they were only 14 for 26 from the charity stripe.
The Rouge et Or would take a 48-33 lead heading into the second half where they wasted little time picking up where they left off.
Laval started the half by outscoring Concordia 13-5 in the opening four minutes. The barrage forced Dore to take two timeouts in less than three minutes as he tried to settle down his team.
Veteran guard Gavin Musgrave explained why his team came out weak.
“We tried to do too much too soon to start the second half,” guard Gavin Musgrave said.
Another common trend that carried over from the first half was Laval’s dominance on rebounds as they outworked the Stingers for a 43-26 edge off the boards during the game.
The one bright spot in the second half for Concordia was Ratsko Popovic, who after a tough first half was able to come out and hit three 3-pointers in the second half and would eventually lead the team with 17 points.
After falling behind by as much as 28 points, the closest the Stingers would get was within 21 before time would eventually run out in their regular season debut.
“Laval’s one of the best teams in the country and they showed some poise today,” Langlois said.
After the game Dore acknowledged the superiority of then Laval squad.
“If the Nationals were being played right now, Laval would have to be considered one of the best in the country,” Dore said.
The Stingers next game will be on the road when they play the McGill Redmen on Saturday.
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