UQAM 70, Concordia 58: Citadins Women’s Basketball Collect Another Win Against the Stingers

Citadins Close Out Season Series Against the Stingers With a Victory

Courtesy Liam Mahoney - Concordia Athletics

The Université du Québec à Montréal Citadins’ women’s basketball team captured their fourth straight win against the Concordia Stingers this year.

With only four regular-season games remaining, the Stingers still count only two wins in what has been a complicated season. While it’s safe to say the team is undergoing a rebuild after losing several starters from last year’s playoff-making team to graduation, it is the first time since the 2005-2006 season that the Citadins sweep the Stingers in the regular season. 

With both teams having already played each other earlier in the week in a close 63-59 game, the Stingers came into Saturday’s matchup still without their second-best scoring player this season. Forward Serena Tchida, who amassed 112 points this campaign—fourth best individually in the Réseau du Sport Étudiant du Québec division—was still seen in crutches on the Stingers’ sideline cheering on her teammates. She has not suited up since The Stingers' Jan. 12 loss to the Laval Rouge et Or. 

Both sides kept each other in check for most of the first half, with decent scoring while both teams hungered for possession of the ball. Stingers Guard Areej Burgonio got fans on their feet in the first quarter with three straight scores on three consecutive attempts. Two of those makes were three-pointers, while she also recorded an assist seconds later to forward Angela Batrla, concluding a first quarter of solid shots. The Stingers lead by four points: 15-11.

The Stingers' detriment from foul calls as they allowed the Citadins to pick up eight points on 11 free throws. Although the score remained close throughout the half, the Citadins ultimately held the lead at halftime with the scoreboard displaying 32-29 in their favour. 

Stingers head coach Tenicha Gittens had trouble expressing satisfaction at her team’s first-half performance: “I felt like in that first half, we weren’t aggressive defensively and our intensity was lacking, even though it was a three-point game at halftime,” she said. 

In the second half, the Citadins displayed a better offence, slowly creating separation from their opponents on the scoreboard. They once again benefited from the Stingers' occasional recklessness, collecting another eight free throws, but only converting half of them.

A very hard fall by Burgonio after an attempted layup sent a gasp of concern through the gymnasium’s home crowd. The standout fourth-year guard had to sit out the remainder of the third quarter. She was, however, able to return to the game a few minutes later and the injury didn’t seem to hinder her. 

The game entered the fourth quarter with the scoreboard displaying 57-42 in favour of the Citadins. The visitors kept up with the pace they’d set, maintaining some steady scoring and staunch defence en route to their seventh win of the season. Citadins forward Fredlaine Verrier recorded two blocks for the second consecutive game, adding to her resume as one of the best defensive players in the league, now leading the RSEQ in blocks and steals. Her twin sister Fredlyne also had a game, leading both teams in rebounds with six to her credit and earning herself a mention by coach Gittens as a player who “clogs those lanes.”

“We’re gonna keep working at it,” said Gittens post-game. “We’ve got four or five games remaining against McGill and Laval and those games can go either way. But if we play like this, it’s not going to end well for us.” 

“I think there are still things to work on. We’ve got a long way to go, but I have a lot of belief in this team,” said Stingers guard Cassandra Le Huquet. As always, the collective is keeping its head up and hoping to improve with every loss. “Personally, I was confident going into this game. Next time we face them, we’re gonna get them,” continued Le Huquet. 

The Stingers still have a chance to make the playoffs and currently hold the same number of wins as the McGill Martlets. An upcoming three-game series after their bye week against the Martlets will most likely determine which team secures the coveted fourth-place playoff berth. Tip-off for the first game is set at 6 p.m. on Feb. 9 at McGill.