Stingers 74, Gaiters 61: It Feels Good to Be Home

Stingers Win Home Opener Against Bishop’s to Improve to 2-0

Courtesy Evan Buhler - Concordia Stingers

The Concordia Men's basketball team sent the Bishop’s University Gaiters packing on Nov. 10 after securing their second win in a row, in front of the sold out home crowd.

The story in the first half was defence. There were no easy buckets on either side. Both teams hungered for a  win and stifled their opponent’s scoring efforts. This resulted in a low scoring first half, where Concordia led 28-27 going into the locker room.

“We were very disorganised in the first quarter,” said Stingers’ Head Coach Rastco Popovic. “Our offence didn’t look right and our defence wasn’t great either. We weren’t playing good offence, so we couldn’t set up our defence.”

Concordia looked determined to win in the second half and played with newfound energy. Stingers’ fifth year guard Oge Nwoko facilitated setting the tone after he drove to the lane for a powerful two-hand jam, the only dunk of the game.

The Stingers made some big plays in the third, but as the quarter progressed, the one-point lead remained going into the final frame, with Concordia up 50-49.

After three full quarters of back and forth basketball, the Stingers caught fire and outscored the Gaiters 24-12 in the fourth quarter.

Nwoko ended with 13 points and served as the defensive anchor in the final minutes of the play. His defensive rebounding in the fourth quarter and multiple blocks throughout the game helped hold his teammates accountable on the defensive end.

“We’re a young team this year,” said Nwoko. “It really takes the current vets that we have to be the ones to make those types of plays. It lets everybody know they have to get on board and we have to lock in”.

Offensively, four Stingers, including the fifth year senior, contributed over ten points in the home win, while a handful of others came close.

Olivier (KB) Koumassou-Bernier led both teams in scoring with 20 points, while adding three assists and three steals to his totals.

Koumassou-Bernier’s six made threes helped the Stingers go 13-36 from behind the arc, resulting in a very impressive 36 percent from three-point range.

“We’re going to keep practising the same way, shooting threes and playing defence,” said Koumassou-Bernier. “I think the best things to work on are rebounding and defence.”

Coach Popovic’s team earned the win and looks to build on this momentum in order to extend their win streak to 3-0.

“I’m very happy with how the guys responded defensively and offensively in the fourth quarter to pull out a solid win in the home opener,” said coach Popovich.

The Stingers defended their home court when they suited up against the McGill Redbirds on Nov. 12, winning 58-57. They set their sights on the Laval Rouge et Or on Nov. 19. Tip-off is set for 8 p.m..