“It was an unbelievable atmosphere and our kids want to play on a night like that,” Redmen Basketball Head Coach David DeAveiro said. “We need this crowd to feed off of and succeed.”
In front of over 600 rambunctious fans, the McGill Redmen (3-0) put on a basketball clinic, downing the Concordia Stingers (2-1) in a 75-53 victory on Thursday night.
The Redmen jumped out to a 15-11 lead after the first quarter before extending the margin to 34-26 at halftime. Junior forward François Bourque led the squad in the first half, scoring nine of his 13 points in the early frames. McGill maintained control after halftime, outscoring the Stingers 41-27 on 50 per cent second-half shooting.
“It was a total team effort, and our depth really made the difference,” DeAveiro said. “Today was a good challenge for us because it was a close game throughout, [but] the fourth quarter, I just thought that we were mentally tougher [and] imposed our will on them.”
Coming off a career high 29-point game against the Bishop’s Gaiters (0-3), starting point guard Jenning Leung once again led the way for the Redmen with a game-high 15 points. Junior guard Dele Ogundokun stuffed the stat sheet, recording seven points, along with a game-high nine boards and four assists.
The win marked McGill’s eighth victory in the last 11 games against the rival Stingers, and reaffirmed that the Redmen are the team to beat in the RSEQ. After a tough pre-season that included a 74-70 victory over the No. 1 ranked Ottawa Gee-Gees (5-0), the Redmen emerged as the No. 3-ranked team in the country.
“When you have some early success, you become a target,” DeAverio said. “Everyone is going to give you their best game and we can’t let up.”
On Saturday night, sophomore centre Noah Daoust led the Redmen to a 74-58 dismantling of the UQÀM Citadins (1-2). Coming off the bench, Daoust dropped a game-high 18 points, including four buckets from beyond the arc. Leung struggled with his shooting in the first half, but came through in the second half, scoring nine of his 14 points after the break.
The Redmen return to Love Competition Hall on Dec. 5 in a showdown with the Laval Rouge et Or (1-1). Look for McGill to improve to 4-0 on the season before the winter break.
“If you look at our team you look at depth. I think [after] two [or] three quarters, we started to wear them down and just put our foot on the pedal.– DeAverio on McGill’s ability to punish opponents late in games
McGill’s ranked in the top three in the CIS for the first time since Nov. 27, 2012
Moment of the game:
Daoust scored nine consecutive points in the first half against the Citadins