Stingers 79, Rouge et Or 65: Concordia cruises past Laval in home opener

Jaheem Joseph and Sami Jahan help the Stingers get the win

Head coach Rastko Popovic talks to his team between quarters on Nov. 10, 2022. Photo Alice Martin

The Stingers men’s basketball team bounced back from their Nov. 2 loss at Bishop’s University with a decisive win against the Université Laval Rouge et Or on Nov. 4.

Concordia took to the jam-packed John Dore Court for the first time this season and proved that they were fierce contenders in the Réseau des sports étudiants du Québec division by putting on a dominant display of offensive basketball. 

“I’m very happy for the most part. It was definitely a good win after we lost a tough one on Thursday,” said head coach Rastko Popovic. “I’m happy with our effort and intensity, how we played [and] how we rebounded. We just have to fix a couple of small things.”

In the first quarter, Stingers second-year guard Jaheem Joseph sank a three pointer to start the scoring. Laval took the lead shortly after thanks to forward Haris Elezovic, but Stingers guard Sami Jahan put Concordia back in the driver’s seat and the frame ended 19-15 in the Stingers’ favour.

The Stingers’ made four substitutions going into the second quarter that bolstered the offence. The Stingers scored 15 straight points, with Joseph himself scoring seven straight points, as the Rouge et Or defence fell apart. They continued racking up points until the score was 50-34 at halftime.

Laval started off much better in the third quarter, and fought back to score 16 points but they were still no match as the Stingers tacked on 18. 

In the final frame, Jahan made a jumper following a rebound by forward Tyrell Williams to make it 70-54. “We were in transition and Tyrell had the ball. When we’re in transition, I'm trying to spot out a three. We had chemistry and we do that all the time,” said Jahan.

When the final buzzer rang, the scoreboard read 79-65 in favour of the home team. “There are some mistakes we need to fix up, especially in the fourth quarter. We got a bit complacent near the end when we had a big lead and we didn’t step on their necks as much as we should’ve,” Jahan said, reflecting on the game.

Stingers rookie centre Bradley Louidon’s 12 points and 17 rebounds was huge for the team, according to Popovic. “It's an amazing double-double. We can call him a division one athlete, how high he can jump and run and do stuff. Now, he has to learn how to play basketball at this level. He can be huge for our team if he keeps playing like this,” he said.

“It's my first year at [Concordia] playing basketball. [This is] just the beginning,” Louidon said.

The Stingers will be back on their home court on Nov. 11 as they face crosstown rivals McGill University.

“McGill is a scrappy team. They’re a young team this year but they're going to come after us and we gotta prepare. [We hope to] win on the home court and go 2-1 in the league,” Popovic said.