Concordia pulls out overtime win against Queen’s Gaels
The Stingers brought their game to Friday night’s tilt where they defeated Queen’s University Gaels 77-76 during a thrilling overtime.
This was the Stingers first Canadian Interuniversity Sport opponent of the year.
The Gaels finished dead last last season in the OUA East Division with a record of five wins and 13 losses. The Stingers last year finished fourth in the RSEQ with a record of 8-8 and were knocked out of the playoffs by the McGill Redmen in the semi-finals.
The game started off slow for the Stingers who trailed 17-9. In the second quarter, the Stingers woke up and scored the quarter’s first four points.
The Stingers led the contest 23-22 at halftime and limited Queen’s to five points in the second quarter.
The third quarter saw Queen’s come back and dominate the game scoring 21 points, taking a 43-40 lead.
Critical mistakes with 16 seconds left in the game cost both teams a chance to win in regulation. Queen’s forward Ryall Stroud made the clutch free throws and then Stingers guard Jaleel Webb did the same to force overtime.
In overtime, the Stingers made the shots that mattered to win the game.
Webb, one of the new players on the team, had 19 points in the win.
New Stingers head coach Rastko Popovic was proud of his first win as a CIS coach.
“The win was due to our defense and with this team, we are going to need to play good defense for 40 minutes,” said Popovic.
The 2015-2016 Stingers team is very different than last year’s team. The good news is that there are eight returning players including last season’s star forward Ken Beaulieu, and point guard Ricardo Monge who was named to the RSEQ all-rookie team.
Popovic replaces coach John Dore who retired after 26 years of being behind the bench.
“The [season] goal is to get better as a team in every single game and practice so that we can compete in Feb. and March when the games matter,” said Popovic.
The Stingers also will not have their top scorer from a year ago, Mukiya Post, who has moved on from basketball.
A new player Stingers fans will love is Schneiders Suffrard, who last year was an RSEQ all-star with the Vanier Cheetahs.