UQAM 75, Concordia 68: Citadins’ physical play end Stingers’ season
Concordia Stingers’ women’s team end their season bruised as they fall to UQAM in RSEQ basketball semi-final
The Concordia Stingers' women’s basketball team faced off against the Université du Québec à Montréal Citadins in the RSEQ semi-final Wednesday night. The Stingers would fall, 75-68.
“The other team doesn’t care about your accolades,” said head coach Tenicha Gittens post-game. “They don’t care about being an all-star. They don’t care about coach of the year, and I don’t care about that either. It’s about who wants it more.”
The first quarter of play was evenly matched when it came to scoring. Both sides had their fair share of mistakes. UQAM had the issue of turning the ball over, with eight turnovers in the first frame. As for Concordia, despite their ability to steal the ball and force the Citadins to make handling mistakes, the Stingers went 8/21 shooting. The Citadins had a soft touch shooting all game, and were able to rally back down by eight. They tied the game at 18 at the end of the first.
Concordia’s scoring woes continued in the second quarter. The Stingers would shoot 28.6 per cent from the field while relying on free throws which kept the game close. The Citadins muscled their way around the interior, out-rebounding Concordia 12-7 in the quarter, and 21-15 in the half.
UQAM’s knack for creating second-chance points is what pushed them out-front. Forwards Veronique Boivin and Fredlyne Verrier were sound in the paint, and their efforts inside put Concordia into foul trouble, as well as sparking open looks for their teammates to take shots. Concordia would scratch and claw their way back to close out the half with crisp passing leading to baskets. UQAM led at the half 37-31.
The second half was much more of the same. UQAM would take a three-point shot and then corral the rebound and repeat the process in hopes of another look from deep or a foul call. This strategy got the Citadins a 10-2 scoring run through the first five minutes of play.
Three-pointers from Verrier and Delphine St-Cyr deflated any burst of offence that came from the Stingers, who once again relied on the steady scoring of Caroline Task, and getting to the foul-line to generate points. At the end of the third quarter, UQAM led 57-48.
Coach Gittens admitted post-game that her remorse in the loss was strong towards Task, saying, “She stuck with me throughout.” Gittens said that Task not being able to rejoin the team next year is unfortunate and that her heart goes out to the Stingers’ sharpshooting senior.
There was an uproar in the Ed Meagher Arena by the home crowd in the second half, and the bellowing from the fans never diminished in the fourth. The free throw line saw the most action in the final period. Physical strength of play from Stingers’ Nelly Owusu and Serena Tchida allowed Concordia to inch closer and closer, but that impressive three-point shooting and rebounding by UQAM sealed the fate of the match. UQAM was consistent at the foul-line hitting 9/12 shots. This allowed them to advance to the final round, as they played heartbreaker to the top-seeded Stingers team.
“[UQAM] just out-worked us,” said Gittens. “I told [the team] I’m proud of them.”
The Stingers now must lick their wounds and heal up for next season. Gittens addressed the fight from her team saying, “We are leaving bruised.” This is a sign of the team's grit and toughness through a season of postponed games and nagging injuries.
The women’s season may be over, but with the men’s team defeating Bishop's University in the semi-final, they set their sights on the championship game. Tip-off is set for March 26 at 8 p.m. against the McGill Redbirds.