Rouge et Or 70, Stingers 67: Battle between RSEQ heavyweights comes down to the wire
Laval’s sharpshooting sinks Concordia and hands them their first loss
The Concordia Stingers women’s basketball team took on the Laval Rouge et Or on Saturday after their victory over the Bishop’s Gaiters in Thursday’s home opener.
The opening minutes of Saturday’s women’s basketball matchup, featuring the Concordia Stingers against the Laval Rouge et Or, illustrated two teams who couldn’t make a jump shot. Other than a three-ball from Laval guard Frédérique Beaudry-Blais, the Rouge et Or would cough up the ball twice in the first three minutes, scrambling to get their team’s league respected three-point shooting warm. The Stingers were no better themselves, shooting 0-6 within this span. Concordia’s first basket would come from a converted and one from forward Coralie Dumont at 7:21 minutes into the first.
This theme of poor offensive possession and aggressive defensive efforts would spell out an 18-11 lead for Laval at the end of the frame, despite their five turnovers. Laval’s saving grace was their 46.7 percent shooting from the field, and 3-for-6 from behind the arc; a contrast to Concordia’s atrocious 4-for-20 for 20 percent shooting.
The second quarter saw Laval kill the momentum of Concordia’s offense. For every Stingers bucket, the Rouge et Or had an answer provided from their sturdy interior presence. Concordia would claw and scratch for points provided from the free throw line, only to be nullified by a dreaded Laval three-pointer.
“We can’t be trading buckets,” said Concordia guard Areej Burgonio post-game. “Obviously, we put ourselves at a deficit in the first [half] by giving them those three balls, letting them get in the paint, and getting out-worked rebounding.”
The Stinger’s would get hot off the hands of Coralie Dumont around the end of the frame, thanks to the 6’1 forward’s knocking down baskets in three consecutive Stingers’ possessions. This was a part of a 13-point first half and 23-point night for Dumont along with nine rebounds and three steals. At the end of the first half the Laval Rouge et Or led 35-28.
The third quarter gleamed with an offensive explosion on both sides of the court. Caroline Task would contribute half of the Stinger’s 22 points in the third, achieved from the guard’s ability to attack the basket and consistent shooting strokes. However, Laval would get the better of the offensive barrage with 26 points in the frame on a lights-out 11-17 shooting for an efficiency of 64.7 percent. Heading into the final quarter, Laval led 61-50.
Concordia would build excitement in the final frame. The most heart-pounding action in any sport are in the dying moments, and Concordia’s defense bloomed with a sense of moxie absent throughout the majority of the game. The Stingers forced Laval to put the ball on the floor, bullying the Rouge et Or by disrupting passing lanes, causing five turnovers. Laval would scramble, unable to slow down the tempo of the game, ushering in a 17-9 scoring frame in favour of the Stingers. Alas, it would be all for not; with time on Laval’s side, the team’s ability to control the ball in the final minute iced the victory for the Rouge et Or. The clock hit zero with the Final score reading 70-67.
“That first half was tough,” said Stinger’s head coach Tenicha Gittens after the loss. Coach Gittens said the Stinger’s passive play illustrated by the offensive reluctance when driving and shooting, as well as the defensive collapse.
“We gave up looks we said we wanted to take away,” coach Gittens continued, “They’re a really good 3-point shooting team, phenomenally coached. Guillaume [Giroux] is one of the best coaches in Canada, and so he’s always going to have his team ready and prepared.”
The Stingers women’s basketball team look to bounce back from the loss against the Université de Montreal Carabins next Saturday, Nov. 27. Tip-off is scheduled for 4 p.m.