Citadins 69, Stingers 57: Citadins silence home crowd to remain unbeaten

Difficult night for the Stingers as they concede 25 turnovers

Stingers guards Sami Jahan and Alec Phaneuf (left to right) take a breather between plays. Photo Alice Martin

The Stingers men’s basketball team’s struggle with turnovers led them to a 69-55 defeat against the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) Citadins on Nov. 16. The Citadins’ 28 points from turnovers stole the show at the John Dore Court.

The sold-out crowd cheered as Stingers’ forward, Jaheem Joseph, opened the scoring with a floater a minute in. They were left stunned as the Citadins responded with an onslaught of successful baskets. 

Late in the quarter, Stingers’ head coach Rastko Popovic, called a timeout as the Stingers trailed 17-6. Popovic’s words bolstered a comeback for the home team, as they scored eight consecutive points to reduce the deficit to five points. The scoreboard read 22-17 in favour of the Citadins, as the first quarter ended.

The Stingers were strengthened by three substitutions made early in the second quarter. The new players matched the Citadins’ intensity and both teams scored 14 points each. Five points came from Stingers rookie guard Jordan Telfort. 

“What I like about Jordan is that he came in [and] he wasn’t scared. He’s a first year guy, so he made some mistakes but he made some big shots,” Popovic said.

The Citadins led 36-31 coming into the second half. The team turned up the aggressiveness, and took full advantage of the Stingers’ eight turnovers in the third frame. 

The Stingers showed glimpses of hope, with Joseph notably sinking a step-back three pointer, making the score 43-49, with the Citadins still ahead. Widening the Citadins’ lead, forward Elie Karojo led the charge with five points and three rebounds in the third frame, which ended 56-45 in favour of the visiting team.

The night went from bad to worse for the Stingers in the final quarter, in which they conceded eight more turnovers. The game concluded in a 57-69 loss for the Stingers. 

“It's stuff that we knew we shouldn’t do and we still did it. You can't give [the Citadins] layups and easy transitions; they're good at that,” said Popovic as he emphasized that the turnovers mainly cost them the game. “They scored almost half of their points off our mistakes.”

The Stingers will take to the road as they face the Université Laval Rouge et Or on Nov. 25. Tip-off is scheduled for 8 p.m.