Eagles Fly Into Stingers Territory

Stingers Lose First Round, But Hang in Tight

Photos Amanda Laprade
Photos Amanda Laprade

If last Wednesday’s game between Concordia’s men’s basketball team and the Niagara Purple Eagles was any indication, the Stingers could be competing for a national title come March.

Although the Stingers couldn’t quite put the finishing touches on the visiting NCAA team in an 85-82 decision, they fought to the bitter end.

Despite the result, both head coaches gave credit to their opposition. “If anybody in our conference wasn’t ready to go, Concordia would beat them, no doubt,” said Niagara head coach Joe Mihalich.

Stingers head coach John Dore had the same thing to say about the Purple Eagles. “Give them a lot of credit from what they did, coming back from an eight point deficit in the last quarter,” he said.

Early in the first quarter, the Stingers broke out of the gate with a 17-4 lead, but began to hear the calls of the Purple Eagles as the opposition crept to within seven points by quarter’s end. It wouldn’t take long before the opposition would take over the lead, as they were leading 50-45 at halftime.

“If anybody in our conference wasn’t ready to go, Concordia would beat them no doubt,” said Niagara head coach Joe Mihalich.

Yet as the Stingers did all of last season, they stuck to it until the end. This was the case in the third quarter, when they overcame a six point deficit, and also in the fourth, when they had an 80-72 lead.

Unfortunately, they couldn’t quite finish off the Purple Eagles, who went on to score 13 points after that to win by a narrow margin of 85 to 82.

Stingers guard Decee Krah blamed the loss on improper execution in the second half. “Basketball is a game of runs. Unfortunately they made a run at the right time and we didn’t respond the way we did in the first half,” said Krah.

Dore, however, said that their lack of practice played a part in the loss. “We only had seven practices in four days before this, but it was a great show for the fans,” he said.

Meanwhile, Mihalich considers his team lucky after last Wednesday’s performance. “I thought we were lucky to win,” he said. “I thought we got outcoached and outworked for most of the game.

The Stingers had to make do without point guard Kyle Desmarais, who was nursing an injury he received at the “World University games in China”:http://thelinknewspaper.ca/article/1584, but head coach John Dore expects him in the line-up to take on the University of California at Santa Barbara Gauchos on Sept. 11. Tipoff is at 12:00 p.m. in the Loyola Gym.