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Young team struggles in battle for playoffs

by Archives February 14, 2007

The Concordia Stingers women’s basketball team failed to extend a two-game winning streak with a 59-54 loss to McGill last Friday.

A win would have vaulted the Stingers past McGill and Bishop’s and into third place in the standings. Instead, they remain in last place with a 4-8 record and four regular season games remaining.

“That looked like us in October. We’re far better than that,” said head coach Keith Pruden. “There’s no excuse for the way that we played [Friday night].”

Concordia started the game off strong, taking a quick 7-0 lead thanks to tough defence and easy lay-ups. Still, McGill kept it close by sinking key long distance shots, and the Stingers saw their early lead disappear at the start of the second quarter.

The two teams exchanged baskets back and forth, and both sides shot efficiently. Still, Concordia managed to close out the half with a two-point lead, having gone on a 9-2 run in the final two minutes of play.

Guard Stephanie Ramonas and forward Annie-Pier Gorup led the team in scoring with eight points each at halftime.

Still, as has often been the case with the Stingers this season, they came out of the dressing room looking like a different team – one that was disorganized and unsure of itself, to be precise.

“We were just listless. The first quarter we looked pretty good. But then we just stopped,” Pruden said. “We stayed at a half speed level for the rest of the game. And why that is I really can’t say.”

The Stingers missed easy chances and seemed flustered. Out of control dribbling and a non-structured offence didn’t help the situation. In fact, the third quarter included a three-and-a-half minute scoring drought for the team.

Ramonas kept the score close in the fourth quarter, but instead of remaining calm and using the clock effectively, Concordia made poor shot choices and rushed through their offence.

When asked what possible adjustments the team will make, Pruden said, “Well, they’ve got to show up. And we didn’t.”

Pruden explained that the problem is always psychological, especially since his squad is in peak physical shape, and isn’t overly tired or sick.

“I understand that we are a very young team, but we were screwing up stuff that was pretty basic. It was a low scoring game, but we gave them way too many easy scores. And you can’t do that against any team. So I was not very happy,” he said.

Concordia has more games in hand than three out of four of their opponents, yet their task of grabbing a playoff spot is becoming increasingly more difficult as the season progresses.

“One hopes that they’ll learn that you don’t get an infinite number of chances,” Pruden said.

The Stingers will face the first place Rouge et Or this coming Friday at 8 p.m. Laval is sitting comfortably atop the standings having only dropped one game this season to McGill.

Quebec University Basketball League Women’s standings

Laval 11 1 22
McGill 6 8 12
UQAM 6 7 12
Bishop’s 5 8 10
Concordia 4 8 8

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