Split Decision

Stingers Women’s Baskeball Go 1-for-2 in first   Home-and-Home Series of 2014

The Stingers faced a rough match against the Citadins. Photos Ion Etxebarria

In a game where bodies flew and landed painfully on the wooden court, the Concordia Stingers women’s basketball team could have made a case for their fifth straight win, a 67-54 trouncing of the UQAM Citadins on Friday, to be registered in another sport according to team head coach Keith Pruden.

“The idea is to play basketball, not rugby,” Pruden said after the win, citing the Citadins’ physical aggressiveness.

“They’re a rugby team; they don’t even try to play position defense, they just run at you and chop.”

The game—the first of a home-and-home series against UQAM—saw Stingers second-year forward Marilyse Roy-Viau forced to briefly leave the court after taking a hard hit to her nose late in the game. She finished the night with 16 points in addition to recovering eight rebounds to avenge a 53-42 loss to UQAM in Concordia’s season opener.

“We were more prepared,” said Roy-Viau after the Friday’s game. “We knew that it was going to be really aggressive and that it was going to be a hard game.”

To say it was a hard game is an understatement. There were numerous instances of collisions and hard contact between both sides, leaving players on the ground in pain. In addition to Roy-Viau taking some knocks, All-Canadian Kaylah Barrett was on the receiving end of some hard fouls.

“Kaylah was getting murdered,” said Pruden. “How does an All-Canadian not get a call?”

Though the team may not have gotten the calls Pruden would’ve liked, the Stingers were nonetheless able to overcome a 19-13 first-period deficit to take a 32-29 halftime lead and ultimately win the game.

“We were a little rattled at the start, as we often are against them,” said Pruden.

“But from the second quarter to the end, we showed a lot of composure.”

The Stingers followed up Friday’s win with a 57-43 loss to UQAM on Saturday to fall to 3-3 on the season. They sit a game behind the second-place Citadins in the Réseau étudiant du Québec conference.

But the team has improved its play overall as of late, earning a league win over Laval in November before going undefeated in its three games at the Concordia Adidas Tournament in December.

“I think we’re playing better at this point this year than at this point last year, so I’m very encouraged by that,” said Pruden.

Despite the team going 14-7 in all games it has played so far this season, the only ones that matter to Roy-Viau are those count towards the Stingers’ conference record.

“Winning the [Concordia Adidas tournament] was nothing for us,” Roy-Viau said. “It’s all about league play, getting to the playoffs and winning in the playoffs.”

The Stingers next take on the Laval Rouge et Or, fourth in the RSEQ, for a home-and-home series on Thursday and Saturday. Tip-off for Saturday’s game, at the Concordia gymnasium, is at 2 p.m.