Stingers basketball sweeps home-opener

Both Concordia teams defeated the Bishop’s Gaiters on Thursday night

The Concordia Stingers women’s basketball team needed a last-second defensive rebound from rookie forward Marvia Dean to seal a 59-55 victory on Nov. 10. The men’s team won a thriller against the Gaiters, 70-67, on a last-second free throw by rookie guard Nicholas Noble.

Women’s Game

The Stingers jumped out to a 12-0 lead, led by the shooting of guard Caroline Task and forward Richelle Grégoire. By the end of the first quarter, the Gaiters had only made four throws and were down 16-4.

In the second quarter, the Stingers saw their large lead slip away due to turnovers. The Gaiters outscored them and the quarter eventually ended with the Stingers up by a score of 28-24.

The women’s team won a nail-biter against the Gaiters. Photos by Ana Hernandez.

Late in the third quarter, the Gaiters tied the game up at 31 on a shot by Gaiters guard Edith Noblecilla. The Stingers opened up a six-point lead afterwards. The Gaiters made things interesting before the quarter ended as they scored two late buckets to cut the deficit to two, 38-36.

The fourth quarter started with a bang for the Stingers as they hit three shots from the three-point line in the first minute and half of the quarter.  Later in the final quarter, the Gaiters tied the game up at 55.

The Stingers kicked things into gear and scored the last four points of the game to close out the win.

“I preach defense all the time and that’s what kept us in the game, especially when they tied it and got their runs,’’ said Stingers head coach Tenicha Gittens.  “We made some key stops down the stretch. Also, we made some key shots and free throws which all resulted from our defense.”

Grégoire was the top scorer in the match with 19 points. The Stingers also got a huge game from rookie forward Marvia Dean, who had 15 rebounds—11 of those coming on defence.

Gittens explained that close games, like the one on Thursday, will be common throughout the season.

“Our conference is the top conference in the country, so our next 15 games will be like that,’’ Gittens said.

Men’s game

The beginning of the match went back and forth as both teams tied up the game on three separate occasions. However, before the first quarter ended, a three-pointer by Stingers guard Ken Beaulieu gave the team a 15-13 lead.

In the second quarter, the Gaiters outscored the Stingers 23-17, and took a 36-32 lead going into halftime.

With eight minutes left in the third quarter, Stingers center Michael Fosu tied the game up at 36. The game then went back and forth in the quarter, until Gaiters guard Jona Bermillo hit a three-pointer and added two free throws to give his team a 58-57 lead heading into the final quarter.

The game was tied at 60 with just four minute left in the game. This is when Stingers rookie guard Nicholas Noble hit a three-pointer, giving the team a 63-60 lead. Then, with just over a minute left, Stingers point guard Ricardo Monge hit another three-pointer to seal the win.

Beaulieu led the Stingers with 14 points.

The Stingers were out-rebounded 21-18 in the game which is a concern for the coaching staff.

“One of our focuses for the game tonight was to hit the boards hard on both ends, and I thought that we did not execute that at all tonight which allowed the [Gaiters] to stay in the game,” said Stingers assistant coach Nathan Grant.

Both Stingers teams will now take on the Laval Rouge et Or on Nov. 13.


Stingers split with St. Thomas Aquinas

Concordia men’s basketball gets a win and a loss against a New York team

The Concordia Stingers men’s basketball team hosted the St. Thomas Aquinas College Spartans from Sparkill, N.Y. in a pair of games on Sept. 1 and Sept 2. The Spartans took game one winning 95-85 while the Stingers took game two with a 81-72 victory.

Game one

The Stingers struggled in the early part of the game as the Spartans took a 4-0 lead. The Stingers got their first basket of the game on a three-pointer by guard Mikee Dosado which gave the Stingers momentum. Concordia ended the first quarter ahead 25-19, thanks to three-pointers by several players including two by forward Ken Beaulieu. Beaulieu finished the quarter with 10 points.

The Stingers started the second quarter strong and hit their first few shots. With just under eight minutes remaining in the quarter, the Stingers had a nine point lead. The Spartans tied the game at 36 with two minutes left and then took a 47-42 lead into halftime.

In the third quarter, the Stingers fought their way back and were close to tying the game. However, deep into the third quarter, the Stingers players hit a cold streak and were unable to make their shots. The Spartans took advantage, taking a 13-point lead. By the end of the quarter the score was 70-60 in favour of the Spartans.

In the final quarter, the Stingers could not keep up with the high-powered offense of the Spartans. With five minutes left in the game, the Spartans led by 17 points. The Stingers got a few late baskets by guard Rowan Power to cut the deficit down to 10.

The Spartans scored 22 points off of Concordia’s turnovers.

“Defensively it was a pretty poor game,” said Stingers head coach Rastko Popovic. “We turned the ball over too much. We had some good moments but our youth showed today.”

Game two

For the majority of the first quarter, both teams took turns scoring and the game was tied. It was a three-pointer by Dosado late in the quarter that propelled the Stingers into the lead. After the first quarter, the Stingers led 17-16.

To start the second quarter, the Spartans scored two early baskets to take their first lead of the game. The Stingers eventually retook the lead with three minutes left in the quarter. The Stingers hit three consecutive three-pointers by with duo Dosado and guard Nicholas Noble. Noble finished the first half going three for four from the three-point line. The Stingers went into halftime leading 37-34.

The third quarter started well for the Spartans, as they tied the game at 39.The Stingers maintained a five point lead throughout the quarter and went into the final frame up 62-57.

In the fourth quarter, the Spartans cut the Stingers lead to just three points with 40 seconds left. Beaulieu came up big in the final moments for the Stingers, as he hit a basket and then grabbed a steal which led to a slam dunk to end the game.

“[I] thought we played much better today. The guys corrected some of the mistakes we made yesterday,” Popovic said. “I thought we had some great moments but we made some costly mistakes where [the Spartans] made some big shots.”

“It was a hard fought game and the other team has a high-tempo offence which is something we weren’t used to,” said Stingers point guard Ricardo Monge. “But we got the win and that’s all that counts.”

These two matches against the Spartans were their final exhibition games against National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) opponents. They finished with a record of 3-2.

“In all of the games we played, we were very competitive,” Popovic said. “I think CIS basketball is very good at this time and teams across country have done well against NCAA schools.”


Bringing a baseball team to Montreal

Looking at why Major League Baseball needs to return to the home of the Expos

For a third straight year, the Toronto Blue Jays wrapped up Spring Training by playing two exhibition games against the Boston Red Sox at the Olympic stadium.

Montrealers are ready for a new baseball team. Photo by XXXX from Flickr.

Around 106,000 fans attended the April 1 and 2 games, which begs the question: is it time for Montreal to get back their beloved Major League Baseball franchise?

Montreal has the 13th largest population in North America but is the only city with over 4 million people that does not have a baseball team. The other 12 cities all have baseball teams, including New York and Los Angeles which have two teams.

Montreal is one of the greatest cities in the world due to its culture and international recognition. When Montreal hosted Expo 67, about 55 million people attended the event. Two years later, the event led to the Montreal Expos becoming Canada’s first Major League Baseball team.

Montreal has a unique culture within North America because of the bilingual population, which is great for tourism and could also be great for baseball.  If the good sport did return to Montreal, I think both francophones and anglophones would accept the team and would wear the team’s gear. If you walk in Downtown Montreal today, it is very hard to miss someone wearing an Expos hat or t-shirt.

There is a strong desire from people wanting to relive the good old days of watching baseball games at Jarry Park and the Olympic Stadium. The desire for a return to baseball started in 2012 when former Expos catcher Gary Carter passed away. Carter was a hero for many in the ‘80s because he was always helping out in the community.

I believe that the return of a baseball team will lead to more profit for the city, especially in the summertime. The other thing the city has going for it is the fact that a lot of tourists go to the summer festivals like Just for Laughs, the Grand Prix and the Jazz Festival. The city of Montreal had 9.6 million tourists and generated $2.9 billion in revenue last year according to the CBC. Just imagine taking a day off from one of these festivals and sitting down to watch a baseball game on a hot sunny day.

A new baseball team will likely have to be placed in the American East division because it would create a strong rivalry with the Blue Jays, the Red Sox and the New York Yankees.

I personally have very fond memories of going to the Olympic Stadium in the late ‘90s and early ‘00s. My goal was always to be there early to see batting practise so that I could get autographs from the players. The other memory I have is after the games sometimes, you were able to run around the bases. These were the fun times of attending Expos games.

I hope someday, I will be able to take my kids to see a baseball game in Montreal just like my parents did with me.


Stingers lose in RSEQ semi-finals

Concordia was unable to defeat UQÀM in the first round of the playoffs.

On March 11, the Concordia Stingers played the UQÀM Citadins in the RSEQ semi-finals. The Stingers swept the regular season series, but on Friday night, they could not pull out a win as they lost 70-63, which eliminated them from the playoffs.

Stingers player Ricardo Monge fights off a UQÀM defender. Photo by L.A. Benoit.

The Stingers had a slow start to the game as they did not register a point until late in the first quarter. The Citadins led 13-0 before the Stingers scored their first points.  After their slow start, the Stingers rebounded and ended the quarter, only trailing by eight points, 22-14 after a late three-pointer by guard Garry Merisier.

“I’m pretty happy how our guys responded after a rough start. Being down 13-0 is not the kind of start you want to have in a playoff game,” Stingers coach Rastko Popovic said.

The Citadins started the second quarter strong as they got two early three-pointers by guard Greiche Clerjuste. The Citadins in the quarter pushed their lead to ten points on three separate occasions throughout the quarter. A late run by the Stingers narrowed the Citadins lead to 37-34 at halftime.

The Stingers came out of halftime strong as they scored nine points in a span of three minutes to take a 43-37 lead. Stingers forward Ken Beaulieu scored four points including a dunk during the run while Stingers guard Jaleel Webb scored a three-pointer. The Stingers led throughout the quarter but with two minutes left, the Citadins went to their excellent three-pointing shooting game as they recorded three three-pointers to take a 52-49 lead heading into the final quarter.

The fourth quarter was filled with dramatics. The Stingers got a huge three-pointer by Webb to start the fourth quarter to tie the game. For the first five minutes of the quarter, both teams traded baskets, keeping it a close game. At one point in the quarter, the Stingers hit a cold streak and were unable to score points. The Citadins took advantage and scored 10 points during that time.

The Stingers made things interesting with a minute left as they cut the Citadins lead to just two points. However, that was as close as the Stingers came to tying the game. Clerjuste if the Citadins took control in the final minute and scored six points to end the game.

“At the end of the day when you play the same team this many times, it comes down to who can make the big shots,” Popovic said. “[The Citadins] definitely made the big shots down the stretch.”

Clerjuste had 24 points and 12 rebounds for the Citadins in the win.

“We did a better job rebounding and boxing out off the glass and keeping the Stingers out of transition,” said Citadins coach Nate Philippe.

For Beaulieu, the lack of execution and effort was what lost the Stingers the game.

“They showed up more than us and played harder than us,” said Beaulieu.


Women’s basketball season ends against McGill

The first place Martlets blew out the Stingers in the first round of RSEQ playoffs

On March 10, the Stingers played their cross-town rivals, the McGill Martlets, during the first round of the RSEQ final four. The Stingers, who were looking to upset the number one team in the nation, were eliminated after being blown out by a score of 85-60.

The Stingers fight for the ball in the McGill zone. Photo by Melissa Martella.

The Stingers got a quick start to the game but could not overcome a huge performance by Martlets centre Alex Kiss-Rusk who scored 31 points and eight blocks in the win.

The Stingers came out in the first quarter with a lot of energy as they took a 7-2 lead in the early minutes. The Stingers did not look back as shooting guard Marie-Ève Martin hit two three-pointers in the quarter and added another layup to give the Stingers a 20-12 lead after one quarter.

The second quarter was a showdown between Stingers forward Richelle Gregoire and Kiss-Rusk. Early in the quarter, the Martlets cut the Stingers lead to two after several baskets by Kiss-Rusk. The Stingers went on a 9-0 run to increase their lead to 27-23 at the midway point of the quarter after Gregoire scored five points. Gregoire ended up scoring nine points in the quarter. The Martlets climbed back into the game and led 35-34 at halftime due to an impressive performance by Kiss-Rusk who dropped 17 points in the quarter.

“I was really hyped about the game and everything was just falling for me tonight,” Kiss-Rusk said after the game. “The Stingers did not double much in the post which became a good situation for us.”

The Stingers led by Gregoire got the first points of the third quarter off of a pair of free-throws.  That was the last time the Martlets trailed in the game. The Martlets regained their lead off of a three-pointer by forward Gabriela Hebert. The Martlets ended the quarter leading 61-49.

The Stingers got an early basket and free-throw by guard Latifah Roach to cut the Martlets lead to single-digits to start the fourth quarter. The Martlets replied with two baskets by guard Marika Guerin to push the Martlets lead back to double-digits which was the turning point in the game as the Martlets then went on an 8-0 run. The Stingers were never able to come back.

Stingers coach Tenicha Gittens said the team played well but let certain McGill players dominate the game.

“We did a good job in the beginning sticking to the game plan and making them rattled and uncomfortable,” said Gittens. “In the second half, we went away from the game plan and allowed [Kiss-Rusk] to get too comfortable.”

The women’s basketball season is now over for the Stingers and will start back up again in October.


Previewing the Stingers’ playoff chances

Concordia’s will be playing UQÀM in the first round of the RSEQ playoffs

The Concordia men’s basketball team will be playing the Citadins from UQÀM on Mar. 11. The game will be played at McGill, as McGill is hosting the RSEQ Final Four. Concordia finished second in the RSEQ while the Citadins finished fourth.

The Stingers swept UQÀM in four games this season. Photo by Marie-Pierre Savard.

The Stingers finished the year with an 18-11 record including the pre-season, but they finished with an overall regular season record of 10-6. The Stingers swept all four games against the Citadins this season. The closest game between these two teams was in Concordia’s last game of the season on Mar. 3, where the Stingers won by a slim margin of 76-74.  

The Citadins placed second in the RSEQ in terms of offense as they averaged 73.7 points per  game this season. Despite their torrid offense, the Citadins were dead last in scoring defense as their opponents scored an average of 75.7 points per game on them. The team was first in the RSEQ in regards to offensive rebounds, with 664 rebounds in 15 games this year, which averaged 44.3 rebounds per a game.  

The Citadins are led by their Batman and Robin duo: third-year forward Kewyn Blain and second-year point guard Greishe Clerjuste. Blain took the league by storm this year, scoring 253 points and averaging 16.9 points per  game in 15 games this season. He finished second in the conference in scoring. Blain led the RSEQ in assists with 85 and he also led in steals with 41. Blain was tied for first in defensive rebounds with 88 this season. He is likely the front-runner for the RSEQ MVP this year.  

Clerjuste was right behind his teammate in conference scoring as he scored 251 points and averaged 16.7 points per game. In the last game between the Stingers and the Citadins, Blain dropped 24 points and Clerjuste added 17 points in the game. The Stingers will need to find a way to defend these two players if they want to win against UQÀM.  

Stingers Guard Jaleel Webb storms the UQÀM defense.
Photo by Marie-Pierre Savard.

The Stingers led the conference in scoring defense as they held their opponents to just 65 points per game. The Stingers were also efficient at defending shots as they led the conference in defending field goal shots. Opposing teams took 1,077 shots on them this season but made just 384 of those shots.

The Stingers will be relying on their third-year forward Ken Beaulieu to create scoring chances against UQÀM. Beaulieu was fifth in RSEQ scoring this season with 214 points and an average of 14.3 points per game.

The Stingers will also need to attack the boards with rookie centre Ahmadu-Tijani Umar and fourth-year forward Michael Fosu. Umar had 95 rebounds this season and was sensational in the last meeting against the Citadins as he came off the bench to record a double-double with 26 points and 13 rebounds.

The X-factor for the Stingers will be potential RSEQ rookie of the year forward Schneiders Suffrard. Suffrard has really come into his own during the second half of the year. He scored 164 points and averaged 10.3 points per game this season.

The Stingers have not won an RSEQ title since 2012 and with a win against the Citadins, they could potentially be playing against either Laval or McGill for basketball supremacy in Quebec.


The Stingers look to make it to the RSEQ finals

Concordia takes on the first-place Martlets in provincial playoffs

After four months of playing basketball, the Stingers will be heading into the RSEQ final four on Mar. 10 where they will be playing the McGill Martlets who are ranked first in the nation.

Point guard Tamara Pinard-Devos battles a UQÀM defender. Photo by Marie-Pierre Savard.

The Stingers finished the season with a record of 7-9. The team was swept by the Martlets this season, losing all four games. The two times the Stingers played the Martlets at McGill, they lost by five and two points respectively. The Stingers have not beaten McGill in two years with their last win being on Feb. 22, 2014.

The team has a tough job ahead of them if they want to beat the Martlets. McGill finished first in the RSEQ in terms of offense and defense. They averaged 63.5 points per game and their opponents averaged 51.0 points per game. They are also an excellent shooting team as they led the RSEQ in field goal percentage, making 346 shots out of 840.

The Martlets are led by third-year centre Alexandria Kiss-Rusk and fourth-year forward and reigning RSEQ MVP Mariam Sylla. Kiss-Rusk was fourth in RSEQ scoring with 203 points, while averaging 13.5 points per game. She led the conference in field goal percentage with 53.3 per cent and led in blocked shots with 31.

Stingers forward Richelle Gregoire storm doen the court in an earlier match-up against UQÀM.
Photo by Marie-Pierre Savard.

Sylla led the conference in rebounding for a third year in a row with 97 rebounds. She also scored 144 points in 11 games. The Martlets’ secret weapon is first-year guard Gladys Hakizimana who scored 181 points this year. The last time these two teams met, Hakizimana scored 19 points.

The Stingers on the other hand are a defensive-minded team as they led the RSEQ in forced turnovers. They had 361 takeaways this season.

The Stingers will depend heavily on their three-point shooting as they made 82 shots from three-point line this season. Stingers fourth-year shooting guard Marie-Ève Martin led the conference in three-pointers made with 32. The Stingers will need strong performances from their one-two punch of fourth-year all-star forward Marilyse Roy-Viau and third-year forward Richelle Gregoire if they want to pull off the upset. Roy-Viau scored 222 points in 15 games this year, which was good enough to be third in the conference. Gregoire scored 241 points in 15 games which placed her second in the conference.

The last time the Stingers played McGill, Gregoire scored 25 points while the Martlets held Roy-Viau to just nine points. The Stingers two X-factors will be their bench and second-year shooting guard Aurélie d’Anjou Drouin. The Stingers bench this season combined for 112 points which included 46 points by rookie guard Latifah Roach. D’Anjou Drouin has improved her play over the last two years. She started the year coming off the bench but since the second-half of the season she has become a regular starter. She scored 97 points in 377 minutes this year.  

If the Stingers defeat the Martlets, they will either play Laval or UQÀM for the RSEQ title. The Stingers women’s basketball team has not won an RSEQ championship since 1998.  


Marilyse Roy-Viau: The drive of a champion

A look at the fourth-year forward’s passion for the sport of basketball

If you attend a Stingers women’s basketball game, it would be hard to miss fourth-year forward, Marilyse Roy-Viau. When she is on the court, she plays with an aggressive edge and is always in the middle of the action. Last season, Roy-Viau was named as an RSEQ all–star after leading the Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec in scoring.

Marilyse Roy-Viau has one year left of CIS eligibility. Photo by Brianna Thicke.

Roy-Viau started playing basketball when she was in the third-grade after her gym teacher taught her the rules of the game.

“I was just playing outside by myself, shooting around when my gym teacher happened to come outside and ask if I wanted to play basketball,” Roy-Viau said. “I knew my brother was on the team but I had no idea that there was a team for girls.”   

She admits that her favourite memory from this time was the adrenaline of running back and forth on the court.

Roy-Viau is studying leisure sciences at Concordia and is always trying to balance her school work and with basketball. For Roy-Viau school always comes first.

“The workload in the program is not as much as other programs,” Roy-Viau said. “But I organized myself to have only three classes per semester so that I can focus on my classes.”

Her favourite place to do her school work is at the athletics complex at the Loyola campus because the women’s basketball team has its own study room.

On the court, Roy-Viau is known across the province as one of the most competitive players in the league. Her aggressive style of play started during her days at Dawson College.

“When you are in college, you all have the same goal, which is to win a championship,” Roy-Viau said. “Since that was my overall goal, that’s when I became competitive.”

Roy-Viau has averaged 14 points per game this season. Photo by Brianna Thicke.

Despite her tough demeanor on the court, Roy-Viau’s off-court personality is much different.

“A lot of people that I’ve played against have said that I was the meanest thing ever,” Roy-Viau said. “Now that they know me, they say that I’m the sweetest thing ever.”

Over the last three seasons, the Stingers have lost a few talented players. This includes two-time RSEQ MVP and All-Canadian guard Kaylah Barrett who retired last year. Another key player was point guard Ashley Clarke who graduated two years ago. Both players still make regular appearances at Stingers games and they have both influenced Roy-Viau’s game.

“Both players were talented on the court and being able to play with them was fun,” Roy-Viau said. “We are actually really good friends. It was fun to be around people that want to have fun and win.”

This season, Roy-Viau is third in RSEQ scoring and is currently averaging 14 points per a game. She has scored 210 points in 15 games this season.

In April, the Stingers parted ways with coach Keith Pruden who led the team for 20 years. In July, the Stingers hired Tenicha Gittens, which according to Roy-Viau, has ignited more passion in the team.

“With Keith, we were just going with the flow and being relaxed,” Roy-Viau said. “Now with coach Gittens, we are more explosive, energetic and passionate in practice and games.”

Gittens’ coaching style has transformed Roy-Viau into the the type of player she is today.

“I was just playing like I was comfortable,” said Roy-Viau. “[Gittens] pushed me out of my comfort zone which is a challenge even today when the season is almost over.”

For Roy-Viau, this season has been a journey.

“Personally it has been up and down and I need to be more consistent,” Roy-Viau said. “I’m pretty satisfied with this new beginning.”

Throughout her career, Roy-Viau has won many awards from being named to the CIS all-rookie team to being named an RSEQ all-star the last three years. For Roy-Viau, there are a couple of milestones missing.

“It’s just a bonus but I have not won an RSEQ championship so I’m never satisfied,” said Roy-Viau. “I just wanted to be a champion.”  

And that means taking home a national championship.

“I’ve won a lot of provincials, a lot of awards, a lot games however I have not won the biggest game yet,” Roy-Viau said.

In the first round of the playoffs this year, the Stingers will be playing the McGill Martlets, where Roy-Viau will get the chance to accomplish what she has yet to do.

“[Beating] McGill on their home court would mean everything to me,” Roy-Viau said.

The Stingers have played the Martlets tight all season. The last time the two teams met at McGill, the Martlets won 72-70 in overtime.

“We always play good when we are at McGill, I don’t know why—maybe it’s the gym or the ambiance,” said Roy-Viau. “We always look forward to going into their gym and beating them because we know we can.”

Roy-Viau has one more year left of CIS eligibility but she has not decided if she will turn pro or not. For her, it all depends on how healthy she can keep her body.

“Right now I’m playing in my fourth year and I’m 24 years-old. [Sometimes] I can barely walk after one game,” Roy-Viau said. “[However going pro] would be a dream.”


Stingers get swept by McGill

Both basketball teams lose on Shoot for the Cure weekend

On Feb. 13, the Stingers basketball teams played their final home games of the year against their cross-town rivals, the McGill Martlets and the McGill Redmen. The Martlets defeated the women’s team 77-64, while the men’s team had their seven game winning streak snapped and lost to the Redmen 53-44.

Stingers forward Richelle Gregoire looks to inbound the ball. Photo by Marie-Pierre Savard.

The Stingers women’s basketball team had a slow start to their game as they were down 8-0 early after McGill hit two early three-pointers. Stingers forward Richelle Gregoire scored the Stingers first basket of the game with a three-pointer and ended the quarter with five more points. The first quarter ended with the Stingers trailing 22-14.

Once again, the Martlets started the second quarter on a hot streak as they scored six unanswered points to begin the quarter. The Stingers were able to make a comeback late when they went on a 7-2 run. Despite that, the Stingers were down 36-25 at halftime.

The Martlets scored five unanswered points to start the third quarter. The Stingers got their first points of the second half off of a pair of free-throws by shooting guard Marie-Eve Martin. The Stingers brought the Martlets lead down to eight points but that was a close as they would come in the quarter. The third quarter ended with a score of 56-42 in favour of the Martlets.

The Martlets started the fourth quarter with a bang as guard Gladys Hakizimana hit her first of two threes in the quarter. Gregoire of the Stingers hit back-to-back threes early in the quarter to make it a ten point lead in favour of the Martlets. This would be the closest they would come to tying the game.

“We gave away too many points in the first quarter and spotted them 11 points in the first half,“ said Stingers coach Tenicha Gittens. “McGill needed to come here and play like the championship team that they were and they did.”

Stingers guard Jaleel Webb makes a move on a McGill player. Photo by Marie-Pierre Savard.

On the men’s side the Redmen scored the game’s first five points which included a three-pointer by guard Vincent Dufort. The Stingers started the game slow as they only had six points in the quarter which included a three-pointer by forward Jean-Daniel Mathieu. The Redmen led 17-6 after the first quarter.

In the second quarter, the Stingers woke up and took advantaged of some Redmen turnovers. The quarter was slow for the first two minutes as neither team was able to hit a shot. After a free-throw by Stingers forward Schneiders Suffrard, the Stingers went on a 5-0 run to cut the Redmen lead to five points. With three minutes left in the quarter, the Stingers cut the lead to just one after a three-pointer by point guard Ricardo Monge. The second quarter ended with the Stingers trailing 24-22.

The Redmen got the first points of the third quarter on a basket by forward Francois Bourque. Stingers forward Michael Fosu scored four straight points to start the quarter, which gave the team their first lead. The Redmen then came back and took a 39-34 lead heading into the final quarter.

The Stingers started the fourth quarter with some clutch three-pointers by forward Ken Beaulieu which would help diminish the Redmen lead to just one point. That was the closest the Stingers came to tying the match.

“Our defense was good as usual, we held McGill to only 53 points. Probably the least amount of points we’ve given up all year,” said Stingers coach Rastko Popovic. “But when you shoot 22 per cent from the field and miss 11 free-throws it’s pretty much impossible to win.”

Saturday’s games took place during the Stingers’ “Shoot for the Cure Weekend.” According to the CIS website, “Shoot for the Cure” is an initiative which began in 2007 that helps to raise money and bring awareness to breast cancer. All 47 CIS schools with a basketball program take part in it. An estimated $886,000 has been raised over the last nine years of the initiative.

“It is a good fundraiser for a good cause, cancer is something that is present all over the world, it hurts a lot of people so we are happy to support it, anyway we can,” said Popovic.

“As the Stingers, we represent the community, we represent people, we are lucky to have the opportunity so it’s just small gesture that can go a long way,’’ said Monge.

The Stingers basketball teams will play their second to last away games of the season against Bishop’s University on Feb. 20.


Stingers basketball sweeps the Rouge et Or

Concordia’s men’s and women’s teams defeated Laval on Feb. 11

On Feb. 11, both Stingers basketball teams played the Laval Rouge et Or in the second to last home game of the season.

Stingers guard Ken Beaulieu tries to make a move on a Laval defender. Photo by Kelsey Litwin.

The women’s team knocked off the eighth-ranked team in the country, winning 82-72. The Stingers headed into the game with a six-game winning streak. The Stingers were able to increase their winning streak to seven games after winning by a score of 67-60.

On the women’s side, the Rouge et Or scored the first points of the game as forward Geneviève Derome knocked down a jumper. The Stingers replied with a three-pointer by shooting guard Marie-Ève Martin. The Stingers had three three-pointers in the quarter, two by Martin and one by forward Richelle Gregoire. The Stingers efficient three-point shooting provided the Stingers with a 21-18 lead after the first quarter.

The Rouge et Or got the first points of the second quarter on free throws by Derome. The Rouge et Or came back and took a five point lead with the score being 29-24 halfway through the quarter. The Stingers did make it a two point game with three minutes left in the quarter on a basket by guard Latifah Roach, but that was the closest they would come in the quarter. The Stingers trailed the Rouge et Or by seven points at halftime, 39-32.

The Stingers started the third quarter on a hot streak as they scored nine unanswered points. Despite a slow start, the Rouge et Or went on a 9-0 run which lasted for three minutes. This gave the Rouge et Or its last lead of the night. The Stingers hit back-to-back three-pointers to regain the lead for good. The Stingers ended the third quarter leading 64-59 after they scored 32 points in the quarter including five three-pointers.

The Stingers started the fourth quarter with a bang as Gregoire hit a three-pointer early. The closest the Rouge et Or came to tying the game was being down seven points late in the match.

“The girls stuck to the game plan and took Laval away from theirs,” said Stingers coach Tenicha Gittens. “We were aggressive on both ends of the court.”

On the men’s side, the Stingers had a quick start to their game as they scored the game’s first seven points including a three-pointer by Stingers forward Ken Beaulieu. The quarter ended with the Stingers leading 15-9.

The second quarter started with excitement for Stingers fans as Ken Beaulieu performed a slam dunk which was his second of the game. With four minutes left in the quarter, the Rouge et Or crawled their way back and made the score 26-20 in favor of the Stingers. The Stingers led 31-23 at halftime after a late three-pointer by forward Jaleel Webb. Beaulieu scored 10 points in the quarter and 17 points in the first half.

“When [Beaulieu] is engaged, he might be one of the best two way players in this league,” Stingers coach Rastko Popovic said. “He has such a big impact on the game. Not just with scoring and dunks, but also when it comes to rebounding and steals.”

The Stingers got the first points of the third quarter off of free-throws by forward Schneiders Suffrard. Halfway through the quarter, the Rouge et Or got a three-pointer by forward Thibaud Dezutter which decreased the Stingers lead to 20 points at 44-34. Beaulieu scored four unanswered points including one more dunk to end off the quarter. This gave the Stingers a  51-39 lead.

The Rouge et Or started the quarter scoring five straight points including a three-pointer by guard Antoine Beaumier. The Rouge et Or kept on chipping away at the Stingers lead and with 20 seconds left they cut it to three points after forward Alexandre Leclerc hit another three-pointer. Beaulieu came back and ensured the win after scoring four unanswered points to end the quarter. This included his fifth dunk of the game.

“I’m very happy with how we defended the ball and how passionately we played and how we competed for forty minutes,” said Popovic.

Both Stingers teams will take on McGill basketball on Feb. 13 at the Concordia Gymnasium.


Concordia basketball stings Gaiters at home

Both the men and the women blew out Bishops on Feb. 4

It was a winning night for Stingers basketball on Feb. 4 as both teams picked up wins over the Bishop’s Gaiters.  The women’s team captured their third win of the season with a blowout victory, 80-51 while the men’s team captured their fifth win in a row by a score of 72-53.

The Stingers men’s basketball team goes for the ball off of the opening jump ball. Photos by Melissa Martella.

The Stingers women’s basketball team started the game hot as they went on a 5-0 run to start the game. The Gaiters’ only points of the quarter came on a three-pointer by guard Noemie Hamel-Petit. The Stingers continued to dominate in the quarter as they had a commanding 15-3 lead at the end of the quarter.

The second quarter started with a bang for the Stingers as shooting guard Marie-Eve Martin hit back to back three-pointers to start the quarter. The Stingers continued to dominate as they scored 21 points in the second quarter to increase their lead to 36-16 at halftime. The Gaiters ended the second quarter with three-pointers by guard Joy-Celine Bermillo and forward Charlene Pettigrew.

The third quarter started with two free-throws by point guard Tamara Pinard-Devos. Richelle Gregoire took full control of the game, scoring nine of her 19 points in the quarter. The third quarter ended with the Stingers ahead by 30 points, 59-29.

The Gaiters got the first points of the final quarter on a basket by Hamel-Petit. The Stingers continued to increase their big lead thanks to a 6-0 run early in the quarter. Stingers shooting guard Aurelie d’Anjou Drouin had a big quarter as she hit back to back three-pointers en route to what would be eight points in the quarter. D’Anjou Drouin finished the game with 14 points.

Richelle Gregoire was the leading scorer in the game with 19 points and nine rebounds.  

The Stingers forced Bishop’s to commit 25 turnovers.  “We were aggressive on the jump which set the tempo for the game,” Stingers coach Tenicha Gittens said. “Defensively we got a lot of steals which allowed us to speed up the game a bit.”

On the men’s side, the Stingers scored the first points of the game off of a basket by guard Jaleel Webb. The two teams then matched each other shot for shot which led to the game being tied twice. In the end, the Stingers took a 12-8 lead at the end of the first quarter.

In the second quarter, the Stingers scored first off of  free-throws by forward Michael Fosu. The Gaiters halfway through the quarter went on a 6-0 run which made it a three point game at 21-18. Webb replied with a run of his own, scoring seven straight points. The Stingers led 36-27 at halftime.

The second half started with points from Stingers forward Schneiders Suffrard. The third quarter was an exciting one for Stingers fans as forward Ken Beaulieu electrified the crowd with three slam dunks. These were important moments because it occurred when the Gaiters were closing in on the Stingers lead. The Stingers ended the quarter leading 56-40 after two late three-pointers by forwards, Fosu and Jean Daniel-Mathieu.

The Gaiters scored the first points of the fourth quarter off of a basket by forward David Belanger. At times, both teams struggled to put up points in the quarter. With two minutes left, the Stingers went on a 6-0 run which secured the victory.

The Stingers women’s basketball team won on Feb. 4, 80-51. Photos by Melissa Martella.

According to Stingers Coach Rastko Popovic, the team had a lot to work on despite the large margin of victory.

“We had 24 turnovers which is way too much, it was poor decision making on our part,” Popovic said. “We had a big lead today, a couple times we gave it up. We need to learn how to put teams away when we are up 19 points.”

Fosu had a double-double in the win with 22 points and 10 rebounds.

“I had a chip on my shoulder because the first game, I was fouled out,” Fosu said. “I think I needed to be the key offensive player today to make sure we won the game.”

Both Stingers teams will take on the Laval Rouge et Or on Feb. 11 at home.


Stingers basketball splits McGill at home

The women’s team lost to the Martlets while the men defeated the Redmen

On Jan. 21, the Concordia Stingers basketball teams played the first games of a home-and-home series against McGill.

Point Guard Ricardo Monge fights off a Redmen player during their win on Jan. 21. Photo by Kelsey Litwin.

The women’s team lost the first game of the night by a score of 64-49 after being dominated by the second ranked Martlets.The men’s game was one for the ages though, as the Stingers stunned the fourth ranked Redmen in double overtime with a 95-83 victory.

On the women’s side, the Stingers scored the first points of the game on a basket by point guard Tamara Pinard-Devos. The Martlets had an 8-5 lead halfway through the quarter after they scored nine unanswered points. In the end, the Martlets had a 15-14 lead after the first quarter.

The Martlets scored first in the second quarter thanks to free throws by Jennifer Silver. The Stingers ended up taking a one point lead twice in the quarter, first at 22-21 on a free throw by Marilyse Roy-Viau and then at 24-23 by a basket by Aurelie d’Anjou Drouin. Those were the last leads the Stingers would have all game. The Martlets stormed back and led 35-26 at half-time.

The Martlets scored first in the third quarter with a basket by forward Marie-Love Michel. The Stingers kept on chipping away at the Martlets’ lead until they were down 43-40 with two minutes left in the quarter. Stingers forward Richelle Gregoire scored 11 points in the quarter. At the end of the quarter, the Martlets came away with seven straight points to give themselves a 10 point lead.

In the fourth quarter, the Stingers capitalized on some miscues from the Martlets. The Stingers eventually brought the Martlet lead down to seven points, but that was the closest they would come to tying the game.

“We did not play good defense as a team,” Viau said. “We were missing a bit of energy coming out from the second half.”

On the other side, the men’s team had a hot start to their game as they led 12-5 halfway through the first quarter. They got great three-point shooting by forward Ken Beaulieu and point guard Ricardo Monge. The Stingers ended up leading 19-14 after the first quarter.

The Redmen got the first points of the second quarter off of a basket by guard Michael Peterkin. The quarter was filled with back and forth action as the game was tied three times. The Redmen ended up being the team to pull through as they ended the quarter with a 40-35 lead.

The Stingers opened the third quarter scoring with four unanswered points to make it a one point game. The Stingers took advantage of sloppy fouling mistakes by the Redmen as they tied the game at 45 on a free throw by Ahmadu-Tijani Umar. The Stingers then took control of the game off of another free throw by Umar. The Stingers carried a 54-47 lead into the fourth quarter.

For the first four minutes of the quarter neither team could hit baskets. The Redmen got on the board first with a pair of free throws by Peterkin. Late in the quarter, the Stingers had a three point lead. However, with just three seconds left, Redmen guard Jenning Leung hit a game tying three-pointer to force overtime.  

The first overtime saw the Stingers regain the lead off of free throws by Schneiders Suffrard. Leung replied with a three-pointer for the Redmen. The Stingers got two late baskets to force a second overtime. In the second overtime, the Stingers came out guns blazing as they had a 6-0 run to start the quarter on route to what would be 20 points in the quarter.

Stingers point guard Ricardo Monge had a career game scoring 28 points in the win.

“The past few games, I’ve struggled to score,” Monge said in an interview with Yacine Bouhali of  The Link. “Tonight I came in and made a couple shots at the beginning which boosted my confidence.”

The men’s team went on to defeat McGill in the second leg of their home-and-home series on Jan. 23 by a score of 68-57. The women’s team lost in overtime on the very same day by a score of 72-70.

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