Despite going punch for punch with the Redmen (2-1) through two hard-fought quarters, the final score read 69-38 in an embarrassing road loss for the Concordia Stingers (2-1).What was a four-point game at halftime become a blowout in a lopsided second half.
“I think we imposed our will on them at the end,” Head Coach David DeAveiro said. “They got a little tired and we kept on going at them. They got a little tired and we got stronger.”
McGill’s ball movement was superior throughout the game. The Redmen created great looks off of pick and rolls, and their stout defence almost forced the Stingers into several shot clock violations. However, the Stingers’ full-court press forced McGill’s guards into some sloppy turnovers. Concordia dominated the paint early on, forcing McGill to take low-percentage perimeter shots.
McGill shot more effectively in the second quarter, but miscommunications on defence left their opponents open for easy shots. Concordia pressed energetically and finished the half just four points back of the Redmen. DeAveiro acknowledged McGill’s struggle in the first half.
“I thought we played hard [and] we competed tonight,” DeAveiro said. “I mean we struggled offensively in the first half, and Concordia played good defense and pressured us.”
McGill responded to the coach’s call, especially Rodrigo Imperador—a senior forward from Bauru, Brazil. Impactful on both sides of the ball, he battled for rebounds in the paint, moved the ball well, and screened effectively. He provided the stability down low that McGill missed in the first half.
McGill extended their lead to 11 points by the end of the third quarter, as their shots finally started to fall. Sophomore wing Michael Peterkin went on a seven-point tear in the span of two minutes, while starting point guard Ave Bross showcased a tight handle and controlled the tempo through the final quarter. Dele Ogundokun, a sophomore guard, was relentless in creating looks for his team and in hounding opposing guards into turnovers and blocked shots.
By the end of the third, the Stingers were tired and frustrated, unable to match the energy and physicality of their rivals. McGill’s prowess was on full display in the third and they proved their killer instinct by closing out the final quarter in emphatic style.
“I think we wore them down,” DeAveiro said. “We were physical and went to the glass. We tried to put pressure on them.”
Concordia’s frustration reached a breaking point in the fourth when a brief tussle broke out midway through the quarter. Sophomore forward François Borque and three Concordia players were ejected, but McGill kept calm. Ogundokun and sophomore point guard Jenning Leung finished tied for the game-high in points with 14 apiece.
The Redmen now sit in second place behind Bishop’s in the conference standings. There are still question marks concerning their free throw shooting after going a dismal 13-25 from the line on the game. However, their offensive performance was seamless at times, and they got locked into a defensive rhythm as the game progressed.
Next week, McGill travels to Laval for what should make for an exciting contest.
“Laval is a very talented team,” DeAveiro explained. “We are going to have to be very good defensively because they can put up a lot of points. We will have to defend and rebound the ball and do a better job of running the offense.”