Bishop’s 57, Concordia 48: Gaiters Put Dent in Stingers Women’s Basketball Playoff Chances
Free Throws and Fouls Stymie Stingers Momentum
After Thursday’s game at the John Dore gymnasium, both teams stepped off the court heading in very different directions. Bishop’s University taking another step in their season long march to the playoffs and Concordia stumbling into uncertainty.
“We’re just hoping other teams lose and that’s a horrible feeling to kind of just sit and wait and have your fate in somebody else’s hands,” said Stingers head coach Tenicha Gittens after the game.
Thursday’s loss was the third in a row for the Stingers and the team needs McGill or UQAM to lose their games for a shot at making it to the playoffs.
Concordia jumped to an 8-3 lead with 6:16 on the clock in the first thanks to 6’1” forward Nikita Telesford’s hot start before cooling off to end the quarter on down 15-8.
The fourth-year player scored six of the first eight points for the Stingers against an undersized Gaiters frontcourt.
Those would be Telesford’s last points of the game however, as she only played 15 minutes in the game due to foul trouble.
“We wanted to isolate her a lot on the block and see what we could get out of that, [but] when she’s in foul trouble and sitting on the bench you can’t,” said Gittens.
Fouls were a big part of the game and the Stingers would not be out of line for feeling hard done by the officiating decisions. It’s something coach Gittens believes the team needs to work around.
“Once you realize how they’re calling the game and we’re not getting those same calls on the other end, you’ve got to adjust, and we didn’t do a good job,” said Gittens.
Concordia racked up 19 personal fouls, in comparison to just 6 on their opponents. The Stingers also shot just four free throws to Bishops’ 19 and went the entire second and fourth quarters without a trip to the line.
“If affects the way you play if you know that you have fouls,” said Telesford. “You can’t attack as hard as you want to. You can’t go to the rim as hard as you want to so that definitely did get into my head a little bit.”
Concordia cut their opponents lead to five at the half and showed signs of promise despite being outscored 15-13 in the quarter.
Forward Shanice Neita scored six of her team-high 10 points off the bench in this quarter. Neita attacked the basket in the pick and rolls with Leclerc, taking up the role that Telesford would occupy in the Stingers game plan.
“Sometimes when people are in foul trouble other people have to step up. Shanice had to step up and I think she’s going to play into that role well,” said Telesford.
Sharp shooting Stingers guard Caroline Task’s seven points in the third frame were not enough to compete with a Gaiters team with multiple players heating up.
At the end of the third Concordia had no players in double digit scoring, while Bishop’s had three: rookies Jael Kabunda and Jennifer Louis and sophomore guard Amaiquen Siciliano.
Kabunda had a field day in the paint grabbing 21 rebounds along with a game-high 18 points for a double-double. Siciliano finished with 16 points and 7 assists, while Louis finished with 15 points and shot 50 per cent from three with four attempts.
The Stingers outscored their opponents by 14-10 in the fourth thanks to another promising quarter by Neita and will be looking to continue the game plan by playing through their frontcourt when both teams meet again this Saturday.
The Stingers will be hoping for a win at Bishops on Saturday and that their opponents defeat McGill—who are directly ahead of Concordia in the standings—in their next game.
Within the Concordia locker room, everyone is aware of the importance of the next few games, but they are insisting they will take it one game at a time.
“We’re feeling hungry and we’re ready to play […] we can see where we made our mistakes and we know that we have to come out on Saturday and it’s a must win for us,” said Telesford.
“You got to approach it like it’s your last game because it very well may be,” said Gittens.