By the Skin of their Teeth

Stingers Hold Off Furious Citadins Comeback to Reach Provincial Championship

  • The Stingers’ Ashley Clarke looks for a teammate in Concordia’s 65-62 playoff win over the UQAM Citadins last Wednesday. Photo Yacine Bouhali

Concordia 65 UQAM 62

The Concordia Stingers women’s basketball team are headed to the provincial championships for a second straight year after narrowly escaping the Université du Québec à Montréal Citadins at the Concordia Gym on Wednesday.

“We had a strong first half, but UQAM didn’t want their season to end and they came back at us really really hard, said Stingers head coach Keith Pruden, who was awarded the Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec Coach of the Year award before the game.

“I was expecting it but it seems like the players weren’t.”

The game got off to a near perfect start for the Stingers. The team’s offense started to click towards the end of the first quarter and they followed it up with a dominating second to take a 41-25 lead by halftime.

The Stingers seemed headed for their fifth win of the season over UQAM, but the Citadins weren’t about to be undone so easily. UQAM’s squad was unfazed coming out of the locker room, countering the Stingers shot-for-shot in a third quarter that saw both teams score 13 points.

In the fourth the Citadins had finally taken control of the game, narrowing the Stingers’ lead to two points with just over a minute left to play.

“At the beginning of the game my shot wasn’t falling but that one, I couldn’t miss it, I was so afraid that we might lose.”
—Ashley Clarke, Stingers point guard

Everything looked to be falling apart for Concordia, until point guard Ashley Clarke scored the biggest three-point shot of her season with 59 seconds remaining, giving her side a 65-60 lead en route to a 65-62 victory over the Citadins.

“At the beginning of the game my shot wasn’t falling but that one, I couldn’t miss it, I was so afraid that we might lose,” said Clarke.

“UQAM came back strong in the last quarter, they had the momentum but fortunately we were able to seal the win.”

Before the game, Stingers guard Kaylah Barrett was given the Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec Most Valuable Player award for the second consecutive year. By the end of the night, she showed why she deserved it—leading the Stingers in scoring, assists, rebounds and steals against the Citadins.

“It was a tough game; we didn’t play a good third quarter but the only thing that matters is that we’re going to the finals,” said Barrett, who finished the game with 17 points, 14 rebounds, five steals and four assists.

This Saturday, the Stingers will be playing the McGill Martlets for the RSEQ championship. Tipoff is at 2 p.m. The winner of the game will represent Quebec at Nationals, which will be held March 15-17 at the University of Regina.

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