The Game That Nearly Got Away
ConU Almost Drops Opener After Strong First Half
Concordia’s men’s basketball team was lucky to escape Thursday’s game against the McGill Redmen with a victory. The Redmen caught the Stingers sleeping in the second half, but ConU prevailed, winning the game 80-66.
From the beginning, the Stingers established their dominance as guard Decee Krah scored the game’s first points off the opening tip. Evens La Roche then drained a jump shot, and the early lead served as a preview for much of the first half’s action.
Starting the second quarter down by seven, the Redmen were still in the game even though ConU was setting the pace and tempo, dominating their opposition with points scored both from the perimeter and in the paint, creating chaos for McGill’s defense.
Defensively, the Stingers seemed to be employing a variety of strategies. “We really wanted to put the pressure on them because we think they lack ball-handlers,” said Stingers guard Kyle Desmarais.
“Guys just got comfortable and let their guards down.” Stingers guard Kyle Desmarais
The Redmen were not able to counter the smothering Stingers assault, as they were forced into turnovers 11 times in the first half alone.
“Our players weren’t ready for that pressure defense,” said Redmen head coach David DeAviero.
The entire first half was a highlight reel for a number of Stingers, in particular Desmarais, who kept sinking field goals and shooting threes with precision.
One particular play saw Desmarais stealing the ball after a McGill timeout to finish at the rim with a two-handed dunk. By halftime, the Stingers were nearly doubling the Redmen, their lead a comfortable 47-24 differential.
With a successful first half behind them, it seemed like the Stingers went into the second overconfident. They continuously missed shots, and came loose defensively.
This drop in intensity allowed for guard Winn Clark to bring the Redmen back into the game.
Just as the Stingers had done in the first half, Clark flew all over the court, collecting rebounds, shooting three-pointers and finishing at the rim, all while drawing fouls. Thanks to his efforts, McGill managed to creep to within six points of ConU.
La Roche, Desmarais and Krah kept the Stingers in the game against the Redmen’s building momentum, however, and by game’s end the Maroon and Gold had regained a 14-point cushion.
Though they came out with the win, the Stingers weren’t thrilled with their performance.
“Guys just got comfortable and let their guards down,” said Desmarais.
ConU plays its home opener this Saturday when the Laval Rouge et Or come to town. Tipoff is at 4:00 p.m.