Rouge et Or 67, Stingers 59: Home-opener horrors

Concordia’s 22 turnovers lead to Laval victory

Head coach Tenicha Gittens speaks to her team between quarters on Nov. 10, 2022. Photo Alice Martin

The Concordia Stingers women’s basketball team walked off the John Dore Court defeated on Nov. 4, both on the scoreboard with their 67-59 loss to Université Laval Rouge et Or and in demeanour.

“We didn’t perform for four quarters,” said Stingers head coach Tenicha Gittens post-game. She specifically emphasized her team's trouble maintaining possession of the ball, “You’re not going to win a game against any team in this conference (the Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec) turning the ball over 22 times,” said Gittens.

Laval set the tone in the first quarter. The nifty passing frequently led to coach Guillaume Giroux’s team finding the open man, whereas the Stingers turned the ball over eight times. Laval experienced shooting woes, however, converting just three of their 15 attempted field goals. Luckily for the Rouge et Or, early foul trouble by Concordia allowed for them to tack on seven additional points from free throws. Laval held a 15-9 lead after the first ten minutes of action. 

The second frame had a collective misfiring of shots. Both teams combined to go one for ten from beyond the arch, with the majority of points scored inside the paint. Both teams were evenly matched in collecting rebounds, with Laval having the slight edge in the stat 12 to ten. Laval took to the locker room at halftime with a 32-22 advantage.

In the third quarter, the home team’s cheering section, featuring numerous athletes on the school’s hockey and rugby teams, hollered and distracted Laval shooters. The Rouge et Or made one of six free throw attempts in the frame. 

As Laval cooled off, the Stingers caught fire. Notable shooting was from three-point range, wherein Concordia shot six for seven, an 85.7 per cent efficiency. The Stingers dropped 26 points over the ten minutes, closing the gap in scoring 48-48 heading into the final quarter.   

In the fourth quarter, Laval was no longer frostbitten—and just in time. Concordia both turned over the ball eight additional times and were called for eight fouls in the final frame. With the bonus on their side, Laval converted 13 of their 14 charity stripe shots in the last ten minutes, giving them the definitive edge. Laval closed out the game with a 67-59 victory.

The good news and bad news situation for Concordia stems from the effort of forward Serena Tchida. Despite rehabbing a lower-body injury from last season, the veteran went over her limited minutes. Her play was crucial in totalling 19 points and seven rebounds for her team.

“It felt great. It’s good to be back,” said Tchida. “We’re adding minutes every game little by little.”

As for the loss, Tchida said that the team will bounce back, “needing to find a way to step up from the beginning instead of rushing [to even the score] throughout the game.” 

The bad news, the Stingers are still relying on their veterans to get the job done.

Gittens understands that experience is an important component of how well a player performs in U Sports, thus why so many starters racked up minutes. “The rookies haven’t proven to me yet that we can trust them,” Gittens said.

The Stingers turn their attention to their matchup against the McGill University Martlets on Saturday, Nov. 11. Tip-off will be at home and will commence at 2 p.m.