McGill will go into national championship as the #3 seed
Despite fighting their way to their first final since 2012, the Concordia Stingers men’s basketball team wore silver medals after losing to the McGill Redmen by a score of 98-79 in the championship game of the Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec (RSEQ) playoffs on March 3.
The first quarter was neck and neck, with both teams scoring 21 points. Stingers guard Ricardo Monge put on an offensive display to open up the game, going 3/4 from three-point range and scoring 12 points in the opening quarter alone. McGill did not falter in face of his hot hand, though, and managed to keep up, coming out of the quarter tied.
In the second quarter, the Redmen began to impose their will on the game. Not only did Concordia’s scoring dry up, but McGill used picture-perfect passing at the other end to create open shots, which they couldn’t seem to miss. They shot 8/12 from the field en route to outscoring Concordia 23-12 in the second quarter.
Concordia’s man-to-man defence was inadequate, as the Redmen continuously found open passes. Redmen guard Avery Cadogan was the x-factor in building the lead, as he scored 11 points in the second quarter, and hit all three of his three-point shots. McGill was up at the half 44-33.
Concordia came out in the second half hoping to stagnate McGill’s domination close to the basket. They switched their defence from man-to-man to zone coverage.
This proved to be a mistake, as McGill used their passing to find gaps along the three-point line. McGill made 75 per cent of three-point attempts in the third quarter, while Concordia only hit five of their 15 shooting attempts.
By the end of the third, the Stingers were down 73-50. The fourth quarter was more of the same for the Stingers. McGill’s biggest lead came with seven minutes left in the fourth, when they led by 30 points. McGill won the championship in convincing fashion by a score of 98-79.
The story of this game was McGill’s hot shooting and stifling defence. The Redmen’s shooting percentages were extremely impressive, as they went 57 per cent from the field, 54 per cent from three-point range, and 58 per cent at the free-throw line. No matter which defence the Stingers threw at them, the Redmen adapted their offence and continued to score.
Concordia’s lack of offence is what killed them. Their defence was actually not bad, but it was just one of those nights for McGill’s offence, which was simply on fire. Concordia’s only hope at winning the game was outgunning the Redmen on offence, which they were unable to do.
The Stingers will look for their shot at redemption next year, when they hope to challenge for the championship once again. Meanwhile, the Redmen strengthened their position as a national championship contender. They will play in the U Sports national championship as the third-best team in the nation.
Main photo by Alex Hutchins.