The Concordia men’s basketball team continued its unstoppable march through the National rankings this past weekend with victories at home against hapless UQAM Citadins and on the road against the Bishop’s Gaiters.
Heading into their match against the winless Citadins, the Stingers were ranked sixth in Canada, jumping up four spots from the previous week, and looking to remain unbeaten on home turf. As expected, Concordia had little trouble disposing of their overmatched opponents as they cruised to a 102-77 win.
It was the second straight week the Maroon and Gold cracked the 100-point plateau as six players scored in double digits. Leading the way was Patrick Perrotte with 22 points followed up by captain Phil Langlois and Chris Blackwood with 17 points each.
A certain degree of credit still has to be given to the Citadins who managed to hang around for the first ten minutes of this game before things got ugly. They even led by as much as five points in the game’s very early moments.
The truth is, had the Stingers been playing any other top-ten squad they probably would have found themselves in deep trouble from the get-go. Poor shot selection and a slew of unnecessary turnovers by ConU gave the Citadins a far longer life span then any 0-7 team deserves.
Inevitability would eventually set in though, with the Concordia offensive machine taking over with a number of gorgeous passing sequences that led to easy buckets and a collectively hot-hand from the three-point line.
Among the most dangerous shooters in the first half was Blackwood who, despite turning the ball over three times early on, managed to bounce back with three baskets from beyond the arc.
Perrotte was a force in the paint-all game, as usual and looked especially impressive getting a couple of hard-fought baskets underneath the net to give his team an 18-point lead late in the half.
Then it was a Ratsko Popovic, drilling another basket from the three-point range, who got the Stingers to the 50 point mark. By the end of the half it stood 54-34 for Concordia.
UQAM was temporarily able to remind everyone, probably including themselves, that they were still playing in this game when they cut the lead down to 70-58 in the second half. But that’s as close to a comeback as they would get.
Despite rebuilding a solid lead, there was still a little drama left in this match as Concordia inched their way to 100 points with only a few moments left in the game.
After Jonathan Dresner hit a pair of free throws, which he followed up with a lay up, the Stingers sat at 98 points with little over a minute left.
Fortunately the Maroon and Gold barely had to put in any effort on the next basket, as the UQAM player attempting to pass the ball out of his own zone tossed it directly into the willing and able hands of Langlois who made the easy lay up.
ConU vs. Bishop’s
Things weren’t as easy the following day against the Bishop’s Gaiters as the visiting Stingers edged them out by a handful in a 71-66 victory. The five-point margin marked the first time this season that Concordia had won by less than ten points.
After a tightly contested first half, the Stingers managed to distance themselves with an 11-0 run early in the second for a 14 point lead.
Despite a late surge by the home team the Stingers would be able to hold on for the win to keep pace with Laval who are ranked third in the country.
“If both teams [Concordia and Laval] play their best games, we know we’ll be able to beat them,” co-captain Dan Lacasse said.
The team’s biggest boost on offence was, for the second straight day, Patrick Perrotte who led all scorers with 21 points.
Three of the Stingers’ eight wins this season have now come against the Gaiters who drop to a miserable record of 3-5.