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Women’s basketball still looking for maiden win of 2007

by Archives December 4, 2007

The Concordia women’s basketball team faced a tough 71-62 defeat in their home-opener Friday night, at the hands of the UQAM Citadins. The loss dropped Concordia to 0-4.
Early on, it looked like Concordia had what it took to beat the 2-1 Citadins. In the first quarter the UQAM man-to-man defence was pressured by Concordia’s ability to get the ball into the key and capitalize.
At the other end of the court, the Stinger’s zone defence was forced the Citadins to take outside shots, as Concordia’s forwards shut down any drives into the key.
Play was passionate and physical, with many jump-ball wrestling matches that resulted in bodies all over the floor. At the end of the first quarter the Stingers were only down 15-11.
The defensive play was fluid in the beginning of the second quarter as Concordia quickly adjusted to whoever had the ball and shut down their lanes. Wherever there was a Citadins player looking to shoot from the outside, there was a Stinger with a hand up ready to challenge.
Kristin Portwine was extremely aggressive under the net, ending up with six rebounds in the game. Ebony Morris came up big on defence, most notably by breaking up a Citadins fast break by swatting the ball away.
On the offensive end, Concordia exploited their chances and took good shots. At one point, Krystle Douglas went coast-to-coast on a break, and scored against three UQaM defenders.
The Stingers eliminated UQaM’s scoring while scoring eight points of their own in the first four minutes of the second quarter. Halfway through the quarter, however, things started to fall apart. Stingers’ zone defence began to break, letting the Citadins pass to players open under the basket.
One of the most notable differences was Concordia’s inability to box out, allowing the Citadins to put up as many as three shots.
The Stingers didn’t score one basket from the field in the last five minutes of the half, and the frustration was visible on Coach Pruden’s face as he paced up and down the sidelines. By the end of the first half the Citadins had regained the lead 39-27.
Concordia’s offence remained sluggish in the third quarter. The first basket from the field came with 1:50 left in the quarter. There were an abundance of passes going out of bounds, Stingers guards getting the ball stolen. No Stinger on the floor seemed to be moving their feet to create open space.
Defence was the Stinger’s saving grace in the third quarter, preventing the Citadins from exploiting their height in the key. The Stingers forced the outside shots by playing tight to the net; unfortunately most of those outside shots were sunk.
By the end of the third quarter the Concordia bench was hanged their heads while the Citadins’ side were enthusiastically high-fiving.
The fourth quarter proved to be no better for the Stingers. There was exceptional play from Portwine to keep the scoring alive, and by Douglas, whose game high 23 points still wasn’t enough to make up for the lack of defence.
It was a shooting gallery for the Citadins, whose outside scorers were sinking balls time after time.
Concordia’s captain Stephanie Ramonas, brought down many boards, but her team was out-rebounded 39-23.
Concordia switched to a man-to-man defence in the late stages of the game, but to no avail as UQAM scored 19 points in the last quarter.
Head coach Keith Pruden stressed the Stingers need to improve on their focus.
“[We] don’t have the ability to stay focused and intense,” he said. “When we get up by a couple [of points] we say ‘Oh, we won’ and seem to quit playing.”
The team is a relatively young one, with only three players having spent more than two years with the Stingers.
Pruden is relying on many rookies and second year players, but he believes they need to show more “intestinal fortitude” and keep up their level of intensity.
The women’s team will not be running full practices until the Reebok Invitational Tournament on Dec. 28-30, as their gym space will be used for writing exams.

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