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Stingers fail to reach RSEQ finals

by Jeffrey Muntu March 5, 2017
Stingers fail to reach RSEQ finals

Concordia’s men’s basketball team had their season ended by the Citadins on Friday

Christian Kadima, a forward for the Université de Québec à Montréal (UQAM) Citadins, made a layup and was fouled, giving his team a comfortable seven point lead with a minute and a half remaining in the game. The play, which was made during the Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec men’s basketball semi-final, showcased the type of night the Concordia Stingers had. The team failed to make big stops on defence and lost 81-71.

All game long, the Stingers couldn’t convert on their free throws and failed to scoop up loose balls. This allowed to Citadins to score more points.

The Stingers wasted opportunities all night, shooting an abysmal 44 per cent of their shots from the free throw line. They also let the Citadins out-rebound them on the offensive board, which lead to 21 second-chance points by the Citadins.

“You cannot win with those two statistics,” Stingers head coach Rastko Popovic said. “The fact that it was still a close playoff game is beyond me.”

The Citadins looked hungrier on the court and outworked the Stingers all night. The Stingers were able to shoot well outside of the free throw line, but couldn’t stop their rivals from getting extra possessions.

“We really wanted to limit Concordia in transition,” Citadins head coach Nate Philippe said. “We wanted to win the battle of the glass, so I think we did a good job .”

Philippe also said the team’s 20 offensive rebounds were “huge.”

The team is now done for the season.

The game started out pretty well for the Stingers, who went on a 6-0 run to start the game. UQAM came right back with eight points of their own, maintaining their lead throughout the quarter. The Citadins were leading 18-14 after the first quarter.

The deficit grew larger midway through the second quarter, when Citadins forward Misi Jeanneau shot a three-pointer. This gave the team their first double-digit lead at 33-23. The Stingers tightened their defense afterwards, and held the Citadins scoreless for about three full minutes. That allowed them to come back, and go into halftime down by four at 35-31.

The second half picked up in intensity, as both teams were more aggressive. The second half saw four lead changes, and both teams going hard for the win.

Stingers guard Ken Beaulieu gave Concordia a 38-37 lead at the beginning of the third quarter. Then Stingers point guard Ricardo Monge followed suit, converting a three-pointer to increase the lead. Going into the fourth quarter, the Stingers lead 52-50.

The fourth quarter kept the same pace until the Citadins started to pull away thanks to some three-pointers. The Stingers kept it close until late in the game when the Citadins jumped out to a seven-point lead.

“We started out well,” Stingers forward Michael Fosu said. “They bounced back in the game because I think we felt too comfortable.”

The loss marks the end of the Concordia men’s basketball season.

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