Stingers 70, Citadins 54: Concordia collects third straight win

Stingers get one up on Citadins in first of four season matchups

Stingers guard Rowena Blais attempts a pass. Photo Alice Martin

After being swept by the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) Citadins last year, the Concordia Stingers finally turned the tables on them, beating them 70-54 at home on Nov. 16.

The Stingers now improve to a 3-1 record, maintaining second place in the Réseau de Sport Étudiant du Québec (RSEQ) rankings. 

Winless stepping onto John Dore court, the 2022-23 RSEQ champions Citadins were looking to pick up momentum against a familiar opponent. However, the new and improved Stingers let their opponents know that this year would be different.  

The Stingers got the offence kicking in the first half, running up the scoreboard early and leaving little breathing room for the opposing defence. Despite a slow offensive start, the Citadins were not slouching, making a few good plays of their own and demonstrating success at almost every drive to the rim. Center Fredlyne Verrier was efficient offensively, scoring on 6 of 9 attempts from inside the paint. By halftime, the Stingers led 38-34. 

In addition to the strong fan turnout, the Stingers sideline was restless. Every series of unanswered points for the home team sent the bench into a frenzy, which Stingers head coach Tenicha Gittens described as a crucial factor in their success so far. 

“You have to be intentional about building chemistry,” she said post-game. “They have the confidence that they can lean on each other throughout the game. The girls know how important that is, and they stick together. They always hype each other up.” 

The Citadins offence showed solid flashes coming back from the half, as both teams were now close on the scoreboard, with Concordia leading 45-43. It only took a few adjustments for the Stingers’ defence to allow the offence to continue building the lead, however,  scoring 11 straight points and closing out the third quarter 59-45. 

“Defence, you know. We’re gonna stand on that every single night,” said Gittens. “I liked how we got some stops, even though they beat us on the boards sometimes.” 

The Stingers stayed on their game all second half, holding the Citadins to 20 points while scoring 32 of their own. They closed out the game with a 16-point lead, claiming the victory and remaining the highest-scoring offence in the conference. 

The Stingers recorded 35 per cent shooting from outside the paint, their best long-range shooting performance this season. 

“You have to trust in your teammates,” said Stingers forward Angela Batrla, about the floor shots. “Handing good passes, and keep putting in the work, that’s how we’re improving.” Batrla led the game in scoring with 18 points

The Stingers now prepare to travel to Quebec City for their second game against the Université Laval Rouge et Or. Tip-off at PEPS Laval is set for 6 p.m. on Nov. 25.