Sneaking By

Stingers Basketball Overcome Sloppy Play to Win Key Game

Photo Pierre Chauvin

Concordia 72 Bishops 63

The Concordia Stingers men’s basketball team are one step closer to opening the playoffs at home after defeating the Bishop’s University Gaiters at the Concordia Gym last Thursday. But they didn’t make it easy on themselves.

“It was a win, but it was just a win—it wasn’t a good win,” said Stingers associate head coach Ernie Rosa.

While the Stingers had already clinched their spot in the postseason, the stakes were high in this one as a loss would mean opening the playoffs on the road.

“I think we got a couple questions right, but we didn’t pass the full test,” said Stingers guard Kyle Desmarais, who led the team in scoring with 22 points.

Concordia opened the game flying out of the gate as they jumped out to a 20-10 lead before Bishop’s forward Tim Hunter scored a last-minute three-pointer to cut the Stingers’ lead to 20-13 at the end of the first quarter.

But with a sense of urgency comes a sense of panic. This was the case as the Stingers sank only 12 of 40 two-point shots and connected on just 22 per cent of their shots from three-point range in the first half.

“We need to hit free throws and three [pointers] better,” said Desmarais. “If we hit those at a better percentage we kill teams like this easily by 20, 25 points.”

But the Stingers’ shot percentage wasn’t the only weak point last Thursday: ball control was lacking as well, with Concordia turning the ball over 27 times throughout the game.

“That’s unacceptable at this stage of the year—[it] should be down to 12,” said Rosa.

Bishop’s took this to their advantage in the second period, quickly eating up the Stingers’ progress from the first and then battling it out right up until the three-minute mark of the fourth period.

“The fourth quarter is our quarter and if we’re close near the end of the game, we usually pull out these wins,” said Rosa.

This is when the Gaiters’ mistakes—including 15 fouls in that final period along with their 26 turnovers throughout the night—started to catch up with them. The Stingers took advantage to outscore Bishop’s 24-14 in the closing period, sealing the victory.

“We were beat by loose balls, we were outhustled on the glass, and if we don’t play harder than that we’ll get our asses kicked again,” said Gaiters head coach Rod Gilpin.

Should the Stingers win Saturday’s game against the Laval Rouge et Or, they’ll finish the regular season in second place in the Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec and will host Bishops on Wednesday at a time yet to be determined. However, if they lose they will travel to Lennoxville instead.

They’ll try to secure second place tomorrow night in Quebec City. Tipoff is at 7:00 p.m.