“Going into the game you always think you’re going to win—you have to be confident,” sophomore wing Michael Peterkin said. “We beat [Laval] two days ago, and we had a tough game when we won that so we thought if we stick to our game plan we’d have a chance to win again.”
With tight defence and strong offensive play, the McGill Redmen (6-2) were able to do just that, defeating the Laval Rouge et Or 73-42. Despite the wide margin, the win did not come easily for the Redmen. The first quarter finished with McGill leading by just one point, but strong play in the second and third quarters widened the lead.
Sophomore forward François Bourque, who registered 17 points and 10 rebounds for a double-double, credits his achievement to good teamwork.
“I am proud [of myself] but I have to give credit to the rest of the team they gave me good looks and it was pretty easy for me to finish on the basket,” Bourque said.
Guard Christian McCue also noted the team effort that led to the win.
“I [absolutely] think this was one of our best games this season,” McCue said. “It was one of the first nights we really came together. All five guys on the court were really playing well together on offence. It seemed like everyone was kind of clicking. Everyone was in the right spot at the right time and we really were just cohesive as a team on the offence and [in general] tonight.”
Though the Redmen have been hot as of late, the same cannot be said of the team’s shooting.
“The last couple games we have been struggling with field goal percentages I guess were going to have to get better by making more reps,” Bourque commented on the team’s shooting woes. Although McGill won, its field goal percentage was 35.4 per-cent on two-pointers and 27.8 per-cent on three-pointers, both of which need to improve for the Redmen to find success in the playoffs. Laval’s offensive play, however, was considerably worse: 26.2 per-cent on field goals and 15 per-cent on three-pointers.
McGill’s low field goal percentage speaks less to its impotence on offence and more to Laval’s strength on defence. The Rouge et Or’s defensive strategy limited high quality shots, but not enough to choke the Redmen out on the court. The two teams run similar offences, a point that is not lost on McCue.
“[We] both have quick guards, so in that respect we are pretty similar,” McCue explained. “When it comes down to it, it’s just who […] can keep the other guy in front of them. It’s just who’s going to take that extra step and play defence a little harder on that night.”
The Redmen showed that they could be quick on its toes and strike back hard. Even with their amazing work on the court, the Redmen still see areas that need to be improved. Senior forward Rodrigo Imperador, who scored seven points in his 11 minutes of playing time, didn’t think that this was one of McGill’s best games.
“I think that it was a good game, but I think this is just a little taste of what we can actually do,” Imperador said. “I don’t think it’s our full potential, but it’s in the right direction.”
McGill will try to keep things rolling at home as they take on UQÀM (2-4) next, on Jan. 29.