Saint-Francis 75, Concordia 66: Sloppy Second Half Defense Leads To Late Surge For The Terriers

Late Defensive Miscues and Poor Rebounding Hurt Stingers in Loss to NCAA Opponent

  • The St Francis Brooklyn Terriers beat the Concordia Stingers 75-66 on their own court. Photo Brian Lapuz

  • The St Francis Brooklyn Terriers beat the Concordia Stingers 75-66 on their own court. Photo Brian Lapuz

  • The St Francis Brooklyn Terriers beat the Concordia Stingers 75-66 on their own court. Photo Brian Lapuz

44-26 wasn’t the final score, but it was possibly the most damning number in Concordia’s Tuesday night loss to NCAA opponent Saint-Francis Brooklyn Terriers at Concordia Gym.

This visiting Terriers outrebounded Concordia 44-26 on their way to a win, and, according to Stingers men’s basketball head coach Rastko Popovic, it was what did his team in against their American opponents.

“We’ve been outrebounded for a few straight games now,” said Popovic. “You can’t expect to win and be successful if you’re constantly being outrebounded that way.”

The Stingers held leads as large as six points in the last seven minutes of regulation, but were unable to hold on to them because of their inability to limit their opponent’s’ second chance opportunities as well as creating some of their own.

“This was one game we should have closed out but the defense and the rebounding wasn’t where it had to be in the second half,” said Popovic.

Throughout the game, whenever Concordia took a significant lead, Saint-Francis was always able to come storming back to tie or take the lead. They used quick runs of very concentrated scoring, spurred on by their ability to create turnovers and score in transition whenever the Stingers seemed like the momentum was clearly favouring them.

Reserve guard Raheem Dunn was the most prolific of the Terriers, compiling a game-high tying 14 points on six for 14 from the field and two for five on three pointers in game.

Despite the performance of reserve guards Adrian Armstrong, who scored 14 points in the game on four for 12 from the field and four for 12 from three-point range, and Nicholas Noble, who scored 13 points of his own and was mentioned by Popovic as a player he was especially pleased of in this game.

Though the Stingers took advantage of the fact that this was a preseason game and experimented with different lineup combinations, members of their expected starting lineup played for most of the game.

Photo Brian Lapuz

Unlike last year where either Ricardo Monge or Cedric Corolian were the only point guard on the floor, Popovic is experimenting with more of a two guard look. He hopes that he’ll be able to play newcomer Jonathan Koud and Monge at the one for long stretches of games as he likes the athleticism that would be in his backcourt.

“I’m still getting accustomed to sharing the backcourt,” said Monge. “I’m used to having the ball in my hand and bringing it up, so there’s an adjustment to be made but I think that the two guard system can benefit us.”

Popovic was also encouraged by the play of newcomer Michel Hakizimana, who finished the game with just five points, but did use his impressive length to block two shots. Most importantly, he pulled down four rebounds which was most encouraging to the Stingers staff.

The usual suspects were a bit quieter for the Stingers against Saint-Francis. Ken Beaulieu scored all nine of his points in the first half, but did pull down five rebounds in the game. Popovic would like to see his veteran swingman be less tentative and to assert himself for full games.

Schneiders Suffrard, who is now playing power forward full time, got into foul trouble and was limited to 17 of game time.

The Stingers will be back in action against another NCAA opponent Thursday night when they face Siena at Concordia Gym. According to Armstrong, facing NCAA opponents is a good way to gauge his team’s progress at this early season stage. He thinks that with just a bit more late-game cohesiveness, his team will finally get the one thing they’ve been missing, a win.

“We’re right there. We’re just missing a bit of defense and rebounding late in games,” said Armstrong. “Once we get that, we’ll get those wins,”

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