Coming back from a 12 point third quarter deficit, the Shockers responded positively to an ugly, emotionally-charged tirade by their Head Coach Gregg Marshall with a three-quarter court press and a suffocating zone defense in the fourth quarter to pull away late and defeat a very tough McGill Redmen club 77-71, who stood up very well in this high-end game.
After a first half that saw McGill lead by 3 and which was dominated by both teams defending and rebounding, the Redmen took off on several big third-quarter runs led by new look 6’1″ Jenning Leung, who knocked down a pair of 3’s and a man-sized effort from 6’7″ former RSEQ POY Francois Bourque, who dominated at both ends of the floor, especially on the glass.
But WSU ratcheted up their effort and emotion in the fourth quarter especially after the game took a terrible turn for the worst with about 7 minutes remaining in the game after a questionable foul call against the Shockers elicited a childish, aggressive response from WSU Head Coach Marshall. After arguing the call vociferously, Marshall took his second technical foul of the game and, prior to exiting the gym, proceeded to charge onto the floor and attack all 3 referees individually despite being restrained by multiple players and coaches. While the embarrassing display did emotionally ignite his team, Marshall’s actions were completely irresponsible and borderline psychotic literally coming within a whisker of starting a physical confrontation more reminiscent of an extended face-to-face manager-to-umpire argument that the late Earl Weaver would have been proud of. His behavior was reckless and not becoming of a respected NCAA Division 1 coach who has built such a successful program. His team did respond however, outscoring the Redmen by 14 points down the stretch.
The Redmen clearly have plenty of depth on their roster including their now-veteran core of Bourque, who challenged all comers inside tonight at both ends on the glass and knocked down at least 4 perimeter jumpers; Leung who is much more comfortable playing off a point guard – he and 6’1″ freshman Kendrick Jolin are beginning to establish a court rapport and 6’3″ Dele Ogundokun who was charged with defending WSU’s best wings and did a stellar job. 6’10” Noah Daoust has also improved his strength and it showed in spurts inside and on the glass; Daoust also knocked down several pick-and-pop “j’s”.
McGill continues their NCAA Division 1 summer campaign this coming Sunday afternoon when Redmen host Arkansas Pine-Bluff.