Concordia 69, UQAM 56: Team Defence Gives Women’s Basketball Edge Over UQAM

Stingers Move to Third Place in RSEQ Standings After Consecutive Wins Against UQAM

Greta-Olivia Ineza uses screen by teammate Myriam Leclerc near UQAM’s baseline. Photo Caroline Marsh
Second-year guard Myriam Leclerc shoots her only two free-throws of the game. Photo Caroline Marsh
Caroline Task’s 21 points pushes Stingers past UQAM. Photo Caroline Marsh

Concordia’s womens’ basketball team picked up their second win of the season against UQAM at the Centre Sportif on Saturday thanks to a strong defensive effort and execution.

This game was a must-win for the Stingers. They had lost three games in a row going into the game, finding themselves at the bottom of the Reseau du sport étudiant du Québec standings.

“We knew that we had to come in and get this dub. There was no two ways about the fact that we had to win the game today,” said fourth-year forward Nikita Telesford. Telesford was one of three Stingers in double digits, scoring 12 points along with 5 rebounds.

Both teams got off to a rocky start offensively, shooting under 30 per cent from the field in the quarter. Baskets were few and far between, with gaps of up to a minute between points going on the scoreboard.

Concordia edged out their opponents by two points, ending the quarter up 14-12 despite a lackluster offensive performance. The Stingers had four steals in the quarter, making sure not to let their opponents get into a rhythm on offence.

So far this season, the Stingers have been inconsistent on defence. They have shown glimpses of their effectiveness in spurts but struggled to play with the intensity necessary to win throughout games.

In the second quarter, they showed just how dominant they can be on that end of the ball when everyone is locked in.

“Everybody just did their jobs. Whether you were on the ball or off the ball when it came to screens, everybody was in the position. It was just all effort,” said guard Areej Burgonio.

Midway through the quarter, Burgonio picked up UQAM guard Charlotte Sarasin right from the inbounds pass. Burgonio’s pressure forced Sarasin to pick up her dribble before half-court and heave a pass towards her nearest teammate.

Myriam Leclerc intercepted the pass, raced down the court, and made the basket, despite being fouled by a recovering Sarasin, to put the Stingers up 23-16.

This steal sparked a 16-6 run for Concordia that saw them end the first half with a 17-point cushion.

Head coach Tenicha Gittens sets up a play for her team during timeout. Photo Caroline Marsh

Burgonio and Leclerc combined for eight of the Stingers’ 12 steals in the game, with Burgonio picking up three and Leclerc swiping five.

“There’s a lot of built-up anger from previous games. There are so many games that we could’ve won if our energy was good. Hopefully we take this into the next games in the second half of the season and turn it around,” said Burgonio.

Telesford credited the team’s preparation for their increased energy in this game.

“I think what was different today was that we made sure that we had energy before the game. […] I think that with this mindset, knowing how good we are, we could definitely come in with the same type of attitude. It will put us in a good position to get a win.”

Caroline Task scored nine of Concordia’s 20 points in the quarter. The fourth-year guard took over the offence for a Stingers team that has often come out of halves flat.

With 1:34 to go in the quarter, Task faked a cut across the floor and quickly backpedaled out the three-point line, losing her defender in the process. In one swift motion, she caught the pass from Burgonio and made a three to put the Stingers up 54-30.

Task is one of the veterans of the team and was a steadying force in the game, scoring a game high 21 points and going four for eight from three, including timely baskets, to keep the Stingers’ momentum going.

“[Task] being able to come in and knock down shots like that is very commendable. […] She was a really big part of the game today and I’m proud of her,” said Telesford.

The Stingers ended the third up 59-34. The Citadins outscored Concordia 22-10 in the fourth, with Alexe Dufresne getting 10 of her team-high 14 points in the quarter, but the damage had already been done. At the final buzzer, the score was 69-56 for Concordia.

The Stingers will kick off 2020 on Jan. 8 at 6 p.m. by hosting UQAM once again. With the Stingers having beaten UQAM twice this season, Burgonio says the matchup will be a big game.