Carleton 84, Concordia 64: Stingers Women’s Basketball Team Tumbles To Strong Ravens Side

Another Slow Start Creates Too Big A Gap For Stingers

Stingers guard Myriam Leclerc eyes her teammate in first quarter of non-conference play vs the Carleton Ravens Photo Caroline Marsh
Concordia’s Caroline Task looks to pull team through tough stretch as the Stingers battle injury bug. Photo Caroline Marsh

After a poor loss where her team never led and went down by as much as 23 points, fourth-year forward Caroline Task highlighted the positives from the game.

“We stayed together, we stayed as a team. We don’t yell at each other [and] we try to fix mistakes on the court which is really important” Task said.

This spirit of togetherness is especially important for a Stingers women’s basketball team facing adversity with just one win in 11 preseason games so far.

The Stingers were once again shorthanded due to injuries and only dressed eight players, with seven seeing minutes during the game.

According to head coach Tenicha Gittens, there is not a lot of certainty about when the team will be back at full strength.

“We don’t have a definite time frame. I’m trusting that the trainers are getting them ready to come back, but I can’t give you an exact date and time” said Gittens.

In what has been a theme for them so far this preseason, Concordia struggled to get going early and quickly found themselves behind against a Carleton team that was scorching hot from three.

After third-year Ravens guard Madison Reid’s three-pointer the Stingers found themselves in a 10-point deficit early in the first.

Reid did her best Steph Curry impersonation, running off screens and going three for three from three in the first quarter, pushing her team’s lead to 30-16 at the end of the first.

Reid led all players in scoring in the game with 24 points, making six of her nine threes along with six rebounds.

Stingers players struggled to keep up with the Ravens shooters as they got open off screens and cuts. When the Stingers attempted to stop the offensive onslaught by double teaming, they did not rotate properly.

Their opponents were always one or two passes away from an open shot, by the time a Stinger swiveled their heads and realized they were chasing a ghost, the shot was already up.

The Ravens shot just under 70 per cent from three for the game, making 11 of their 16 attempts.

Ravens defender contests Myriam Leclerc’s scoring attempt in second half. Photo Caroline Marsh

“I thought we were well prepared for it, but we didn’t go out there and execute what we wanted to do defensively just on a man for man basis” said Gittens.

This looks to be a team still figuring out who they are. There has been significant roster turnover, with three of last years starters gone, and injuries pushing players into bigger roles than they might normally have.

It is normal for there to be some growing pains and the preseason is the time to iron those out.

“It’s a little down right now but preseason is where you learn, and you adapt and fix little mistakes. It’s better to lose now than in the season” said Task who had a team high 18 points did her best to keep her team in the game, including a SportsCenter worthy hesitation and pull-up combo in the first quarter that had a Carleton player doing the stanky leg.

Coach Gittens was quick to note that she believes her players can perform better than they have so far despite their shortened team sheet.

“I don’t ask anyone to do anything outside of what they’re capable of and it’s just doing that consistently for four quarters,” said Gittens.

The Stingers found success inside late in the game with fourth-year forward Nikita Telesford, who was only able to play four minutes in the quarter before fouling out. Telesford picked up a double-double with a game high 12 rebounds along with 11 points.

As the Stingers prepare to face Acadia at McGill on Sunday morning, they will be hoping to replicate the energy they showed late in this game from tip off to the final buzzer.

For both Task and Gittens, more important than X’s and O’s the focus is on the intangible elements of basketball.

“It’s just discipline and heart. I think we have to want it from the start,” said Task.

“On the floor you have to go out there and be tough and grind it out and get your nails dirty…I think right now we lack toughness and it shows,” said Gittens.

The Stingers will be hoping to find that toughness before conference play begins and the games become a lot more than learning opportunities.

The Stingers’ final preseason game will be on Oct. 27 at 11 a.m. when they take on Acadia at McGill University.