Stingers lose thrilling double OT game

They don’t get much better than Saturday’s game at Loyola where the Concordia women’s basketball team was hosting the country’s 2nd ranked Laval Rouge et Or.
After leading in final minute of regulation and the first overtime, the Stingers finally ran out of chances in a tough 88-83 double overtime loss.
Laval seemed more than happy to hand Concordia the early lead with the Stingers taking advantage of frequent turnovers and an inability to clean up on offensive rebounds as they controlled the early momentum.
However Laval showed why they are second in the country as they kept close with exceptional 3-point shooting, much of which came courtesy of Laval guard Isabelle Grenier who hit 4 three’s in the first half and finished with a game-high 26 points.
Laval’s best chance to breakaway came just past the midway point of the half when Concordia centre Kristina Steinfort was taken out after receiving her second foul.
With their most dominant player sitting on the bench the Stingers briefly fell behind.
Trailing by a mere three points the Stingers continued to apply tough defensive pressure that paid off with back-to-back turnovers by Laval leading to consecutive Concordia baskets.
Clearly favouring aggression over patience the Stingers grabbed a 39-34 lead, the biggest by either team up to that point but Laval would chip away to tie the game at 42-42 by halftime.
Laval quickly got the jump on Concordia as they stormed into the second with a 7-0 run.
However, the Stingers continued to show remarkable perseverance as over the next 10 minutes they regained control of the game momentum and the lead with the score 60-57.
After several lead changes and with the score tied with less than a minute left in regulation Steinfort laid in a rebound to give the Stingers a 72-70 lead with 20 seconds remaining.
Then with 7 seconds left Laval guard Elodie Gerard responded with a pair of clutch free throws to send the game to overtime.
“There is a lot going through your mind in a game like that and we just had to try stay focused,” said post Valerie Bain, who tied Steinfort for the team lead with 18 points.
The Stinger once again led by two in the final minute of overtime until another pair of free throws, this time by forward Josee Lalonde with 35 seconds left tied the game.
The Stinger’s final possession ended in a heave by Amsatou Diallo which fell wide and meant another overtime.
The tables were turned when Concordia was the team narrowly trailing in the last minute with the score 85-82. The nail in the coffin came with 23 seconds left as Lalonde hit a free throw to complete a 3-point play and give Laval an 88-82 lead.
After the game head coach Keith Pruden was proud of his players but felt that it was a game they should have won.
“We played toe to toe with one of the best teams in country and we lost because of things we did,” Pruden said.
Captain Marie-Pier Veilleux shared in her coach’s sentiments.
“We’re very proud of the way we played, we showed great character for the whole forty minutes,” she said.

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