McGill 88, Concordia 81… Using full-court pressure with various traps throughout the game, Redmen pulled away in the fourth quarter for a key win at the BeeHive in a game of runs that featured both teams coming back from double digit deficits. McGill took the lead for good midway through the fourth as 6’1″ Alex Paquin (team-high 16 points) knocked down a tough three from the left baseline off an in-bounds play to start a 9-0 run that Stingers could not rally from. 6’4″ Ken Beaulieu had a game-high 24 points for the Stingers, scoring in transition with a pair of dunks, inside off of post-ups and even made a clutch three, adding 7 rebounds and 4 assists in a strong performance. Stingers did rally from a mid-third quarter 13 point deficit to take the lead early in the fourth, getting out in transition and periodically beating the McGill pressure for open looks and lay-ups but Concordia did turn it over 19 times. Stingers overcame a tough start to lead 32-19 in the second quarter but Redmen forced turnovers and tightened up defensively in the quarter court, getting a strong balanced effort with five players in double digits including Paquin, 6’2″ Dele Ogundokun (14 points, 6 rebounds) and 6’1″ Jenning Leung (14 points) who returned to the lineup after missing last weekend’s games vs. UQAM with a broken finger on his shooting hand sustained in practice over the holidays. McGill got another strong performance from underrated 6’5″ swingman Daniel Pieper who continues to impress with his length and ability to read offensive situations – the Dutchman finished with 12 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists on 5-6 shooting in 29 minutes. Concordia hurt themselves with a terrible 16 for 33 effort from the charity stripe, leaving numerous points on the line which, if Stingers can clean up, bodes well for the return engagement between these two teams on Saturday at 6 PM at McGill. 6’5″ lefty Sami Ghandour added 11 for the Stingers, who also stayed in the game with at least three big offensive rebounds that led to kick outs and open threes and 9 points. These teams always seem to provide an entertaining affair with just the correct amount of edge and rivalry to provide great games.
UQAM 88, Bishop’s 85… 6’0″ Charles Miller had three threes and led the Citadins with 17 points as UQAM won a big game at home against the Gaiters to move into a tie for the fourth and final playoff spot in the Q. Citadins took the lead for good early in the fourth and held off a late Bishop’s charge, winning despite a career-high 31 point effort from 6’5″ Abdul Kamane.
Saturday’s Games: Concordia at McGill; UQAM at Bishop’s