Redbirds 77, Stingers 62: Concordia drops season opener at Love Competition Hall

Turnovers and missed shots prove costly in blowout loss

Rookie Tyrell Williams rises to lay the ball in. Photo Credit: Caroline Marsh

It felt like a long time, but USports basketball is finally back. The Concordia Stingers men’s basketball team was up against the cross-town rival McGill Redbirds to open their season at the Love Competition Hall. The first half was sloppy, which worked in Concordia’s favour up until the wheels fell off in the third quarter ultimately leading to a 77-62 loss.

The first quarter started off slow, as evident with the eight combined turnovers for the two teams. McGill held a slim lead at the end of the frame at 18-15. 

The second quarter offered up more of the same with some abysmal shooting–23.1 per cent for Concordia, and 35.3 per cent for the Redbirds– Another high turnover period with seven total between the two teams. Neither team was happy with the way they were playing, but they headed into halftime with a 32-30 advantage in the home team’s favour.

The Redbirds came out with a sense of urgency to start the second half. They stunned the Stingers and went on a 9-0 run in the matter of just two minutes. This quarter would ultimately decide the outcome of the game, as the hole Concordia dug themselves was too deep. McGill would take a 15-point lead into the final frame.

The last quarter offered up some positives for the Stingers as it allowed some first-year players to get acquainted with the pace of play. Steve Mbida Abomo, a former Collège Jean-De-Brébeuf standout, was a bright spot for the maroon and gold as he finished with 11 points and seven rebounds in 20 minutes of action in his first regular season game. 

On the other side for the Redbirds, Jamal Mayali, a member of the Palestinian national basketball team scored 29 points all while making six three-pointers. Harris Elezovic, a provincial champion with the Vanier College Cheetahs in 2019 also had a great debut for McGill, scoring 16 points and grabbing 12 rebounds. Elezovic was a perfect six for six from the free-throw line as well. 

The final score was 77-62 for McGill, but it did not reflect how one-sided this game actually was. Concordia was dominated in the second half.

The Concordia Stingers men’s basketball team will play their next game on Nov. 18 at the Loyola campus against the Bishop’s Gaiters. Tip-off is slated for 8 p.m. and will be the Stingers home opener.