Cellar dwellers topple division leading Stingers

Jerome Blake is guarded by Sean Monplaisir in the Stingers loss. Photo by Navneet Pall

Playing the Bishop’s Gaiters, the RSEQ’s last-place team who only had one win coming in to Friday, it seemed the Stingers would be able to record their 11th win of the season. Instead, Concordia was upstaged on its home court by a hungry Bishop’s team looking to slay the Goliath of the Quebec conference.

Jerome Blake is guarded by Sean Monplaisir in the Stingers loss. Photo by Navneet Pall

While it is undeniable that Concordia is a more talented team than Bishop’s, the games are not won and lost on paper.

“They outworked us and they outplayed us,” said coach John Dore. “We weren’t prepared and they deserved to win. We played better in the first half, but just weren’t focused in the second half.”

The Stingers trailed by a point after the first quarter, but came out strong to start the second, going on a 12-3 run at the beginning of the quarter, taking a 37-26 lead midway through the second, and went into the break with an eight-point lead.

Whatever momentum Concordia had built up, though, was gone coming out after halftime.

Bishop’s outscored the Stingers 23-13 in the quarter and took a slim, two-point lead in the final quarter when Mukiya Post hit a jump shot in the last minute of the third.

It was all Bishop’s in the beginning of the fourth quarter, as the Gaiters built a 13-point lead with just over two and a half minutes to play. To give the Stingers credit, they refused to fold.

Kyle Desmarais, who led the Stingers with 18 points, made back-to-back three-point shots on consecutive possession to pull Concordia within eight points.

Trailing 75-68 in the final minute of play, the Stingers went on a 7-2 run and had a chance to tie the game after Sean Monplaisir missed a free-throw that would have virtually clinched the victory for Bishop’s.

This allowed the Stingers to run one final play to tie the game. Concordia got the ball to Decee Krah, who struggled on the night, scoring eight points on just two-of-12 shooting. Krah, however, missed a difficult 25-foot three-pointer, giving Bishop’s the upset victory.

Afterwards, Coach Dore stressed the importance of not overlooking weaker teams like Bishop’s. “You have to respect your opponents and come out ready to play every night,” he said.

Despite the loss, Concordia still remains in first place in the RSEQ, two wins ahead of McGill, but the Redmen only have three games remaining, while the Stingers have four.

The Stingers will have a chance to avenge the loss as they face Bishop’s again this Friday night at 8 p.m., on the road in  Lennoxville.

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