It was a tale of two seasons for the Concordia women’s basketball team. A 6-0 start was accompanied with a 2-8 finish, leaving the Stingers with an 8-8 record, and a second place finish in the RSEQ.
The second place finish means Concordia gets home court for at least the first round of the playoffs, a huge advantage seeing as the Stingers have not won a game on the road since a Jan. 20 victory in Ste-Foy against Laval. Likewise, Concordia will be facing the Bishop’s Gaiters who are 1-7 on the road this season but a solid home record carried them to a 7-9 season. Bishop’s lost both games they played in Concordia’s gym this season.
Many of the Stingers’ struggles can be attributed to nothing more than bad luck. The team was bitten by the injury bug coming out of the Christmas break. Natasha Raposo, one of the team’s best outside shooters, missed a significant chunk of time. Kaylah Barrett, who was recently named RSEQ player of the year, saw her production drop dramatically later in the season as she was forced to play through hand and back injuries.
Barrett sat out for Concordia’s final game of the season hoping to rest up for the playoffs.
Concordia dropped its final two games of the year, a 44-42 home loss to UQAM, and a 16-point blowout loss against Laval on the road.
While no team wants to back in to the playoffs, the final two games meant very little in the standings as the Stingers were virtually locked in to second place, and it was more important for the team to rest some players.
The team’s struggles down the stretch would soon be forgotten if Concordia was able to win the conference and advance to the national championships in Calgary. However, an early exit on home court would be a disappointing end to a season that had began so promisingly and with high expectations.
Bishop’s has been a middle of the pack team for most of the season, but games between the Gaiters and the Stingers have been very close.
Save for a 71-40 blowout Stingers victory that snapped Concordia out of a five-game losing streak on Feb. 10, all the games between the two teams have been decided by four points or fewer.
Concordia is the more talented team, but a lot will depend on just how healthy Barrett actually is. The Stingers are the best team in the conference defensively, but have had spurts where they’ve shot the ball horrendously. If the shots aren’t falling on Tuesday night against Bishop’s, it could spell trouble for the Stingers.
However, if the offensive is clicking, the Stingers should be able to advance into the next round, and likely face top-seeded McGill. Concordia and McGill split the season series this year.
It has been a Jekyll and Hyde season for Concordia. The playoffs will provide the opportunity to see the team’s true identity.
The game is Tuesday, Feb. 28 at 7 p.m. at Loyola.