McGill 75, Concordia 53: McGill Too Much To Handle for Stingers Women’s Basketball

Two Losses in a Week to McGill’s Martlets Puts Stingers Playoff Hopes at Risk

Stingers guard Areej Burgonio is avering 32.2 minutes a game this season. Photo Caroline Marsh

The Stingers walked off the court at the Love Competition Hall on Saturday with a 3-7 record and a little bit more out of reach of a spot in the Réseau du Sport Étudiant du Québec playoffs.

“It’s a big crazy turnaround especially from last year when we were number two in the conference and now, we might not even make it,” said Stingers guard Areej Burgonio.

Concordia found themselves facing an uphill challenge at the end of the first quarter buzzer.

Fourth-year player Nadège Pluviose scored 10 of her team-high 14 points in the first quarter, leading McGill to an 18-7 lead. Pluviose was effective from inside going a perfect four for four from the field, doing most of her work on offense close to the basket.

The Martlets hunted for mismatches to begin the game, having Pluviose set screens at the top of the arc for guard Gladys Hakizimana and forcing the defence to make difficult decisions.

The Stingers switched 5’5” guard Carolina Task onto the 5’10” Pluviose in order to keep a defender on Hakizimana and limit her opportunities to shoot since she shot the ball well, going four for four from three in both prior meetings this season.

The Martlets exploited this matchup by posting Pluviose up and forced the Stingers to either leave Task on an island with the larger player or send another defender to help, leaving someone else open.

Concordia picked up the pace in the second quarter but found it difficult to string together enough plays on offense and stops on defense to overturn their sluggish start to the game. Going back and forth with the Martlets did not do the Stingers any favours.

Hakizimana hit a wide-open three from the left corner to bring the Martlets lead to 17 and Stingers sophomore guard Myriam Leclerc responded with a drive to the basket and a layup to bring the score to 27-12 with 6:54 in the quarter.

On the next possession Hakizimana brought the ball up and let it fly from NBA range with plenty of shot clock left from NBA range, hitting the shot and forcing the stingers to call a time-out.

By the end of the quarter the Stingers began to build up momentum. Leclerc found guard Nelly Owusu open at the free throw line and the Dawson College alum drove into the paint for the layup.

Owusu scored a team-high 12 points for the Stingers and contributed seven rebounds and three assists as well for the Stingers.

Following a deflection on the other end the Martlets called a timeout and drew up a play for the last play of the half. The ball found Maddy Colpitts in the corner and she sank the three, closing the half with a 42-28 McGill lead.

While the Stingers have struggled in the third quarter this season, they came out firing since they their rough patch out of the way in the first half.

Areej Burgonio lost her defender with a crossover and hit the mid-range shot to cut the lead to just eight points with just under seven minutes to go in the quarter. It looked like the Stingers had found their way back into the game. However, the momentum was quickly halted by an injury.

Hurt, Caroline Task jogged up the court and grabbed her right ankle. She had to be carried off the floor and did not re-enter the game. She finished the game with 10 points, two rebounds and three assists in just 21 minutes of play.

Concordia missed Task’s presence and did not get back into the game after that, finishing the quarter down 53-40.

McGill forward Sirah Diarra and guard Trishia Villedrouin led the charge in the fourth quarter, scoring six and eight points respectively to finish off the game for the Martlets.

The coming stretch of four games begins with a home and home game at home against Bishop’s and two in a row against Laval. The ranking of these teams matter little to the Stingers, according to Burgonio though.

“We have to turn it up […] it doesn’t really affect anything if it’s one and two we still have to step it up,” Burgonio said.

“[There’s] definitely a lot of frustration but it happens. We have to figure it out and get back to the drawing board and stick together.”