Concordia 88, Bishop’s 71: Stingers Start The Season on a Good Note
Big Third Quarter Helps Concordia Get a Win on Opening Night
The game started slowly for Concordia’s men’s basketball team in their season tip-off game Thursday night against the Bishop’s Gaiters at home.
Stingers head coach Rastko Popovic and the players were conscious of the fact that they didn’t start as fast as they expected. They gave Bishop’s every opportunity to get big leads and run away with the game.
“I thought of our first half was very sloppy and slow,” said Popovic. “We didn’t really manage to get a good first half there. We’re an athletic team that can play faster.”
Stingers fourth-year centre Malcolm Henderson added that the layoff between their last preseason game and their first regular season game played a factor.
“Obviously we came off slow and we started off slow,” said Henderson. “I think it’s due to the rest we had. Yes we played many games in preseason but it’s a different dynamic.”
By the end of the half with the score tied at 33, everyone in the attendance could see that Concordia’s offense wasn’t at its peak and that measures had to be taken for the Stingers to win the first game of the season.
Thanks to a good showing on both ends of the floor, the Stingers finally took control of the game. They scored 28 points in the third quarter while only giving up 20.
“The second half we hunkered down and we took away the game,” said Henderson. “We should’ve done that during the first half instead of waiting too long to lock it away.”
The main catalysts for this turnaround were new Stinger guard Jonathan Koud, who scored 19 points off the bench and second-year guard Nicholas Noble who scored 10. Of course, there were the contributions of fourth-year point guard and team captain Ricardo Monge, whose 23 points were the game-high.
While the offense was percolating, the defense was devastating. The team finished with 11 steals and two blocks.
By the middle of the fourth quarter, the Stingers had blown the game wide open and built up leads as large as 19 before settling for a 17 point win by the final buzzer.
“We played great,” said Koud, who had 3 steals and two rebounds to go along with his high point total. “I think it was just a little stress during the first half. It’s the home opener, the crowd and everything, but we managed to pick it up during the second half.”
A notable absence from Concordia’s starting lineup was third-year power forward Schneiders Suffrard. According to Popovic, this was due to an elbow injury. He eventually did get some minutes off the bench, though, and actually provided a spark for the Stingers with four points, two rebounds and three assists in only 11 minutes.
“He gave us good minutes during the first half,” said Popovic. “He was patient and with his injury, I was very happy with the minutes he gave us.”
The Stingers will take the boost of momentum they got from their season opening win and hope to see it translate well in Quebec City on Sunday afternoon where they’ll be taking on the Université Laval Rouge et Or.
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