Concordia 72, Trinity Western 65: Fourth Quarter Comeback Stifled by Stingers

Stingers Win Alleviating Amidst Pre-Season Slump

Courtesy Concordia Stingers - Liam Mahoney

The Stingers women’s basketball team exuded tenacity in a non-conference win against the Trinity Western University Spartans on Oct. 22.

“I think we played a really good game for the first time in the campaign,” said Stingers’ Head Coach Tenicha Gittens post-game. 

“We listened, we executed—we did all the little things, but we did it one possession at a time for four quarters.”

Both teams played solid defence at the start of the game. Defenders pestered their opposition off the ball. 

The veteran presence of Stingers guard Areej Burgonio and forward Serena Tchida set the two-way tone. Burgonio’s quick hands and floor general charisma allowed her to nab two steals. This complemented her exceptional shooting, going 4-6 with two made threes in the first quarter.

Tchida’s impressive wingspan facilitated grabbing rebounds as she pulled down three of her 12 boards in the match. She also found success on the interior as she went 3-3 in the frame. 

The Spartans starting core found their groove as the quarter progressed and the score remained marginally slim. The first quarter ended with Concordia on top 23-18.

The second frame saw an atrocious shooting display by TWU. The Stingers’ relentless defensive play bullied the Spartans into taking difficult shots. The Spartans' fortunate three-point shooting and ability to knock down free throws salvaged a 5-16 second quarter.

On the other end of the court, Stingers’ freshman guard Rowena Blais had the hot hand. She went 3-3 from beyond the arc tallying 11 of her 17 points in the second quarter. This helped Concordia extend their lead; up 44-34 headed into halftime.

“Rowena was somebody that [the Stingers’ coaching staff] absolutely had pretty high expectations,” said coach Gittens when asked about the first-year guard. Gittens added that Blais impressed as soon as she attended recruitment and worked out with the team.

“She has such a quick release. Even if [the defender is] there, she’s going to get [the shot] off.”  

In the second half, TWU’s shooting woes continued as they registered 35.7 per cent field goal shooting. Their three-point accuracy could not bail them out because they missed all three attempts as the Spartans mustered 11 points in the third quarter.

Concordia had a slightly more successful third frame. Burgonio and Tchida took charge once again, combining for 13 of the 16 points scored. The third quarter came to a close with a sound 60-45 advantage for the Stingers. 

Misfortune graced Concordia in the fourth quarter, however. The Stingers had difficulty receiving passes, queuing up six turnovers for coach Gittens’ squad. Combined with a pitiful 28.6 per cent field goal shooting, the Stingers found themselves scrambling to protect their lead. 

Trinity Western had turnover issues themselves, yet their confidence to drain buckets returned. Four minutes into the period, a made layup by Spartans’ guard Jayden Gill moved TWU within ten points of Concordia, and the lead was cut down 62-54. 

Concordia remained feisty. They had a response for each basket made by TWU from this point onward. Concordia negated any instance of Trinity Western narrowing the gap. Spartans guard Hailey Van Roekel's three-ball inched her team to 66-62 with two minutes remaining in the game.   

Using time to their benefit, Concordia’s defence rolled up their sleeves. They denied every other attempt by TWU until the final shot of the game, but by that point, the Stingers had cemented their victory. Concordia won handily 72-65.

The Stingers open up regular season play as they take on the Université du Québec à Montréal Citadins on Thursday, Nov. 3. Tip-off is set for 3 p.m..