McGill 69, Laval 68 Rouge et Or substitute 6’2″ Laurier Beaulac-Dufresne missed the first of two free-throws with no timing remaining on the clock as the Redmen staged a dramatic comeback coming from 23 down with under 4 minutes remaining in the 3rd to solidify their hold on first place in the RSEQ. McGill had taken what appeared to be an insurmountable a 4 point lead with 8 seconds remaining when Laval’s 6’5″ Alexandre Leclerc banged a 3 with 2 seconds left and Laval immediately fouled. 6’5″ Vincent Dufort then made the first of two, missing the second on purpose for McGill. Unbelievably, on the rebound, the Redmen lost track of Beaulac-Dufresne down the floor and he was fould by freshman Isiah Cummins at the buzzer with a chance to tie by knocking down both. But his missed the first, allowing Redmen to celebrate a storied comeback.
Looking listless and defeated late in the third quarter, Redmen went deep to their bench and also got sterling performances from Dufort and 6’8″ Noah Daoust late when it counted to storm back from a 56-33 deficit with 3 1/2 minutes remaining in the third. After Leclerc completed a conventional “and 1”, Dufort went to work and little-used Redmen reserve Daniel Pieper knocked down a 3, kick starting a 19-2 run to bridge the third and fourth that got the game to 6 with 7 1/2 minutes remaining. Daoust was outstanding inside and out – 13 of his 15 points came in the final 12 minutes of the game including 7 consecutive early in the fourth – while fifth-year point forward Dufort (18 points, 11 rebounds) who has taken up most of the decision-making duties for McGill in the absence of injured starting pg Jenning Leung and has played his way back in to a First Team all-star type season, had 10 points in the fourth including the game-tying 3 when Laval went under the ball screen. Daoust then took a feed from freshman Isiah Cummins to give McGill the lead for good.
Laval dominated for the first 2 1/2 quarters behind Leclerc (15 points) and lefty post Charles-Andre Edorh (15 points, 10 rebounds) forcing 15 turnovers while building their big lead. But an inability to rebound (McGill dominated the glass 40-25) and a 3 for 15 effort from the floor in the fourth quarter sealed their fate.
Tomorrow: Concordia at Bishop’s; a Gaiters loss seals 4th place and a playoff spot for Laval.