Ottawa 77, Concordia 65: Stingers Women’s Basketball Drop Pre-season Opener to Ottawa
Stingers Fall to Gee Gees in Hard Fought First Pre-season Game
The Concordia Stingers women’s basketball team lost pace in the fourth quarter, dropping the first nail biter of the season in their pre-season matchup against the University of Ottawa Gee-Gees, Sept. 21.
Throughout the first three quarters, the Maroon and Gold was hanging in there with the Gee-Gees, thanks in large part to third-year player Caroline Task. She put up 27 points, shooting 10-29 with six buckets from beyond the arc.
The Stingers entered the fourth quarter leading by one point, but saw that lead dissipate quickly. Ottawa started the quarter on a 21-5 run thanks to six-foot-five forward Angela Ribarich, who posted a double double with 13 points, ten boards and four blocked shots.
Stingers head coach Tenicha Gittens said that the forward was one of the main problems in the last frame, but as an overall defensive showing she was proud of her team.
‘I think defensively for the most part, we didn’t do a horrible job especially guarding ‘six-foot-five,’ that’s difficult,” she said. “They handled her for the most part, it’s just at the end, when you see they score a basket then they score another basket, it gets a little harder to get those stops.”
She also mentioned that her team needs to do a better job at rebounding the ball and that the Gee-Gees did a great job punishing the Stingers for the missed rebounds.
“Their second chance opportunities were just absolutely ridiculous,” she said.
The field goal percentage in the game was ultimately the difference, with Ottawa making over 50 per cent of their shots, shooting the lights out in the fourth quarter with a 73 per cent shooting percentage while the Stingers shot at 28 per cent for the game.
Gittens plans on taking her team to the film room, and building on the positives from the first three quarters, including their great handling of the ball and their ability to create turnover—they forced Ottawa into 19 of them.
“There’s a lot of good things that we’ll take from this, a ton of film, film doesn’t lie,” she said. “Sometimes they think I’m making stuff up until they watch themselves on tape,” she added jokingly.
She’s optimistic about the group she has and about the year ahead, saying that both the experience on the Ottawa team and the fact that they were playing their eighth game were major contributors to the their victory.
“In my four years [with the Stingers], this is the best group that I’ve had in terms of being coachable and giving their all every single minute, every day,” she said. “It’s a learning experience for us but we’ll get better.”
The Stingers rookies players had a ton of minutes on Friday night. They had two rookies play over 30 minutes, including Nelly Owusu, who said that this game was not bad as a first game with the team, especially knowing the difference in experience levels between them and the opposition. This was their first game together, while Ottawa had played seven prior.
In contrast, Ottawa only had one rookie play in the entire game, and started with a lineup made up heavily of veterans. Owusu also said that physical fatigue was not an issue but that “mental breakdowns happened a lot especially against the big number 13.”
She may not have put up big points, but was very active on the boards and on defense, posting 10 rebounds and three steals.
Myriam Leclerc was also a predominant player in Coach Gittens game plan, playing 36 minutes while posting up ten points and four assists. She mentioned that experience played a big factor but that they never stopped fighting throughout the entirety of the game.
“In upcoming games I will try to not shy away from the shot,” she said when questioned on her performance. “I started confident but as the game progressed I stagnated a bit and didn’t attack as much.”
The Stingers will be back on the court looking for redemption in just over a week, hosting the Alberta-based University of Lethbridge Horns on Sept. 29.