On Jan. 13, the second-ranked McGill Martlet basketball squad (6-1) tipped off against the no. 6 Concordia Stingers (3-2) in McGill’s sixth annual Shoot for the Cure game. Shoot for the Cure was part of an annual joint fundraising campaign between McGill’s women’s basketball and volleyball teams to support the Quebec Breast Cancer Foundation. The Martlets, sporting pink uniforms to support their cause, came out on top 63-51 in their second win in three days over Concordia.
“We just played them on Thursday [Jan. 11], and they didn’t do anything different so we were pretty ready,” fifth-year guard Frédérique Potvin said of the matchup.
McGill jumped ahead early and stayed ahead, outscoring Concordia 20-14 and 18-6 in the first and second quarters, respectively. Strong offensive performances from fellow fifth-years Alex Kiss-Rusk and Potvin contributed to the Martlets’ dominance in the first half.
“We started off [with] really high energy and we were putting a lot of pressure on them, not letting them run a lot of the things that they wanted to run,” Kiss-Rusk said.
After the break, the Martlets couldn’t replicate their explosive energy from the first half, allowing Concordia to cut McGill’s lead from 18 to six.
“Third quarter is always tough, [coming back from halftime,] so you have to get back into it and that’s something we need to work on,” Potvin said.
Despite Concordia’s best comeback efforts, McGill’s defence held off the Stingers to earn their third win over their rivals this season. First-year point-guard Kiana Scantlebury pitched in a critical effort throughout the game, and Head Coach Ryan Thorne pointed to her as the “star of the game.”
“We plugged in Kiana Scantlebury and she just brought that level up another notch,” Thorne said. “She played great defence and she didn’t score but she just brought a little something else that gave us opportunities to score. She just got her hands on the ball, created deflections which gave us easy points in transition, so I thought she was amazing.”
With this win, the Martlets have extended their winning streak to seven as they head into the back half of their season, still sitting atop the RSEQ standings. Their next game is on Jan. 26 is at Bishop’s University.
Moment of the Game
After a trying third quarter, third-year point guard Gladys Hakizimana scored a buzzer-beater, giving new energy to the team and the crowd.
“Right now the plan is to make sure we get better every time out. We don’t look all the way down the road. It’s next game, next practice, let’s make sure we’re trying to get better.” – Head Coach Ryan Thorne on how the Martlets will approach the back half of the season
With 22 points and 10 boards, fifth-year centre Alex Kiss-Rusk earned her eighth consecutive double-double.