With 30 seconds to go at Love Competition Hall on Thursday, junior swingman Michael Peterkin dunked on an outlet pass to sign off the McGill Redmen’s (5-0) 69-58 victory over the Laval Rouge et Or (3-4).
The slam brought the crowd to its feet and allowed the CIS no.2 ranked Redmen to breathe a sigh of relief. It capped a 6-0 run to finish the game and helped them claim the RSEQ top spot. They had overcome a poor 14.3 per cent three-point shooting performance.
“We missed some easy shots in the third quarter that we made in the fourth quarter,” Redmen Head Coach David D’Aveiro said.
McGill overcame a torrid third quarter, where they missed all of their three pointers and struggled with Laval’s full court press. Laval’s guards caused havoc driving to the rim, and kicking the ball back out to their perimeter shooters. It was ultimately some late free throws and a stunning spin move by sophomore centre Noah Daoust, who was playing on a hurt ankle, that allowed McGill to enter the fourth quarter with a slender 46-45 lead. Daoust had 16 points on 64 per cent shooting for the night.
“[Laval] are a very good defensive team,” D’Aveiro said. “They caused us problems with their athleticism and their switching defense [….] It’s never an easy game when you play Laval.”
McGill’s bench came to the fore, outscoring Laval’s. Peterkin was the player of the game, providing energy with a number of put-back scores, and nine rebounds. He was excellent under the basket, with important reverse layups to keep the Redmen afloat in the third quarter. He ended up with 16 points on 7-11 shooting.
“It was Michael’s best game,” D’Aveiro said. “He was influential offensively and defensively.”
McGill did start the game strong, however, racing to a 24-15 lead. McGill’s passing, rebounding, and defence was excellent all game, and ultimately staved off the Laval threat. They out-rebounded the Rouge et Or 49-27, had four more steals—with some important takeaways coming in the fourth quarter—and also hit seven more free throws than Laval. Backup point guard Isaiah Cummins kept a cool head down the stretch, moving the ball effectively and driving for a couple scores
“Isaiah did some good things for us,” D’Aveiro said. “He did a good job running the show, and getting to the rim a couple of times […] in a pressure situation.”
The Redmen will play Concordia twice next weekend, the first away on Jan. 21 and the next at home on Jan. 23.
“[Peterkin] showed what he could do when he comes up the floor and plays with […] energy.” — Coach D’Aveiro on Peterkin’s performance off the bench.
Peterkin’s stat-stuffing 16 point, nine rebound, two block, one steal performance came in only 17 minutes of court time.
Play of the game
With the clock running down at the end of the third quarter, Daoust caught the inbound pass and posted up his defender. Cummins bubbled around Daoust. Daoust’s defender anticipated a pass to Cummins, and Daoust duly faked him out, spun and layed the ball in to give McGill the 46-45 lead at the end of the quarter.