The Stingers played host to one of their oldest rivals on Thursday night and came out on top, beating the McGill Martlets 63-53 win in a battle of two of the Canadian Interuniversity Sports League’s (CIS) top teams.
Concordia was once again great on defence as they caused the Martlets to commit 30 turnovers, which included 17 steals. The Stingers shut down Mariam Sylla,the Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec’s leading scorer, to just 10 points, most of which came in the fourth quarter. The Stingers also shot 87.5 per cent on their free throw attempts, which included a perfect four-for-four in the first half.
The Stingers started the game with a 5-0 run, which included a three-pointer by guard Alex Boudreau. The Martlets got on the board with a three-pointer by forward Gabriela Hebert at the 7:23 mark of the first quarter. McGill took a 7-5 lead at 5:41 of the quarter, but it was the Stingers who ended the quarter with a 16-13 lead on a jump-shot by forward Shannah Ernest in the final minute.
The Martlets started the second quarter with a 4-0 run, which put them in the lead, until centre Tina Mpondani hit a two-pointer and a free-throw shot for Stingers to give them a 19-18 lead.
The Stingers exploded with 26 points in the second quarter, including three field goals by guard Kaylah Barrett and forwards Marilyse Roy-Viau and Richelle Gregoire. Gregoire’s three-pointer came with one second left in the second quarter, which gave the Stingers a big lead of 42-27 at halftime.
Both teams combined for only 11 points in the third quarter, six of those from the Stingers. The Martlets started the third quarter with two straight baskets by guard Marie-Pier Bastrash. The Stingers would get their first points in the third minute of the quarter with free throws by Mpondani. Concordia held a 48-32 lead heading into the final quarter.
Barrett would give the Stingers the first points of the fourth quarter with a free throw. Hebert would put the Martlets on the board with a two-pointer less than a minute later. Barrett would give Concordia a 20-point lead, 54-34, at 7:18 of the quarter.
With a minute left in the game, Martlets guard, Carolann Cloutier, brought McGill within eight points, but it wasn’t enough as the Stingers took home the 63-53 win.
Barrett was the leading scorer in the game. She had 18 points and seven rebounds. Mpondani came in as a starter on Thursday because forward Serginha Estmie was serving a one-game suspension after being ejected against Laval.
“[I] was pleased with our performance [tonight],” said head coach, Keith Pruden. “I was also pleased [with] the composure we showed in the last three minutes [holding an 11-point lead].”
“[I’m] really proud of my team,” said Barrett. “They kept it up the whole game from first to fourth quarter.”