Concordia (10-7, 4-3) 66, McGill (12-5, 6-3) 56… 6’4″ Ken Beaulieu had 10 of his team-high 15 points during a game-deciding six minute stretch of the fourth quarter as the Stingers forced 26 McGill turnovers and won the battle on the glass to avenge an early 40 point blowout loss to the Redmen with a sharp win at home in the BeeHive.
After McGill’s Jenning Leung hit a long 3 from the left wing late in the third to tie the game at 41, Concordia took the lead for good, forcing turnovers leading to run outs on 3 consecutive possessions, closing the quarter on a 7-0 run led by 6’6″ T.J. Umar. McGill had it to within 2 with 6 minutes left before Umar found Beaulieu open for a “catch-and-shoot” three from the right wing – his second consecutive from that spot – and Stingers were never seriously threatened thereafter. Stingers really tightened it up down the stretch as McGill missed their last 6 threes of the game and turned it over 6 times during that span.
Stingers Head Coach Rastko Popovic was pleased with his team’s ability to bounce back after a decisive pre-holiday defeat at McGill: “Very happy with our defensive effort especially after McGill tied it at 41. We focused on rebounding all week and held them to only 7 offensive rebounds. Our guys obviously had the last game (40 point loss) on their minds and wanted to prove a point.”
Redmen got out to a fast start led by 10 early points from 6’2″ Dele Ogundokun (game-high 18 points) but early foul trouble to 6’7″ Francois Bourque and 6’5″ Michael Peterkin forced coach Dave DeAveiro to give major minutes to his bench and was not helped by a skewed first half foul count – Stingers did not get whistled for a single foul for more than 12 minutes of play and only 3 overall in the half against 11 for the Redmen. DeAveiro was ultimately assessed a technical foul midway through the second quarter for pointing to the scoreboard to advise the referees of the situation. Final foul count was 21-14 McGill with Concordia whistled for 4 fouls in the final 2 minutes of play after they had taken a 10 point lead. Stingers were well worthy of the win, however, given their strong work selectively double teaming McGill guards and doing tremendous work on the glass to avenge that earlier defeat.
Umar added 14 points for the Stingers on 5-7 shooting and 6’0″ veteran point guard Ricardo Monge, continuing his fine home efforts against the Redmen, was solid with 12 points, 5 rebounds and 6 assists, continually putting pressure on McGill’s guards off the dribble. Bourque added 11 points and 5 rebounds in just 15 minutes before fouling out and Redmen shot just 6 for 27 (22%) from downtown in absorbing the loss.
The teams meet again Saturday at 4 PM ET at McGill.