McGill 76, Bishop’s 46 Locking down hard defensively and gaining from an improving perimeter shooting effort, the Redmen overcame an early first quarter 6 point deficit with contributions from numerous players to officially eliminate the defending RSEQ champions Gaiters with an easy home win this afternoon in Montreal. McGill gave up only 29 points total in the final 3 quarters and finished the game on a 65-29 run.
Most impactful this afternoon was 6’2″ Dele Ogundokun who led the way with 21 points and as importantly knocked down 4 3’s from various spots. Ogundokun did his usual fine job defending and rebounding but his offensive explosion including making multiple open looks bodes well for the first-place Redmen who prior to this afternoon were shooting 23% from downtown as a team after the holidays. McGill was a tidy 7 for 17 from three point land (41.2%) today.
Redmen were also spurred by the return to the lineup of 6’1″ Jenning Leung, who missed last week’s game at Laval after injuring his hamstring two weeks ago against Concordia. Leung (15 points, 4 assists, only 1 turnover, 6-10 from the field including 2 3’s) got more aggressive as the game went on, showing more confidence driving into the lane and even knocking down a pair of 3’s. In general, this was McGill’s most fluid, confident and consistent offensive effort arguably since before the Holidays.
The young Gaiters have plenty of promising but inexperienced talent led by slashing 6’4″ wing Abdul Kamane, my choice for RSEQ Rookie-of-the-Year, who plays with fearless abandon attacking the rim. But the guard play is still very erratic and perimeter shooting inconsistent (1 for 17 from 3 today). Fourth-year guard Jona Bermillo, the hero of last season’s Gaiters run to the Nationals, was generally over matched as a pure point guard for many stretches this season but did an admirable job in that spot given the lack of quality on the roster at that position – not being able to slide over to the 2 spot consistently likely hampered the slick shooting guard’s ability to gain consistency from the perimeter. Bermillo was honored last week as a graduating player at Bishop’s final home game of the season but still has one season of eligibility remaining so his status for next season remains uncertain.
Today’s Bishop’s loss renders this evening’s Laval at UQAM game meaningless as far as the playoff race however both teams are battling for third spot. Presumably, neither wants to meet the host Redmen on their home floor in the RSEQ Final 4 semi-final scheduled for two weeks from yesterday at Love Competition Hall. The fourth-place finisher would be slotted against McGill in one of two semi-finals. Note that Concordia cannot finish any lower than third. So Redmen will play either UQAM or Laval and Stingers will play either UQAM or Laval – that could be decided tonight if UQAM defeats Laval.
McGill 11-4 (UQAM at home)
Concordia 9-6 (at UQAM)
UQAM 6-7 (home to Laval, home to Concordia, at McGill)
Laval 6-8 (at UQAM, home to Bishop’s)
Bishop’s 4-11 (at Laval)