Despite shooting only 35 per cent from the field in their season opener, the McGill Redmen (1-0-0) rallied in the fourth quarter to beat the Laval Rouge et Or (0-1-0) 62-61 on Nov. 10 at Love Competition Hall.
“We missed a lot of shots, open 3’s,” Head Coach David DeAveiro said. “I don’t remember the last time we shot the ball like that.”
The Redmen’s anemic offence allowed Laval to jump out to an early 11-0 lead in the first frame. While McGill played solid defence–holding Laval to 4 of 23 shooting from the field–the visitors dominated the early portion of the game. DeAveiro turned to his bench to inject some energy back into the game.
“We got young guys off the bench that are making big shots,” DeAveiro said. “We had Daniel [Pieper] playing well for us today, Greg Trahan played well today [.…] Our bench did a really good job.”
Players coming off the bench provided a spark for McGill in the second quarter. They began connecting on their field goals and the team played with a newfound intensity. Laval’s foul trouble hindered their efforts on offence and defence. The Redmen managed to come within one point of the Rouge et Or at the end of the first half.
McGill flagged again in the early moments of the third quarter, however, and Laval jumped out ahead. Coach DeAveiro once again turned to his young bench.
“[Our] second half [adjustments are] where we wanted to be [from the start],” DeAveiro said. “We wanted to move the ball more from side to side [and] share it. We wanted to attack after swinging it a few times and we got some baskets.”
McGill was still down by one point at the end of the third quarter, but Laval’s lead lasted less than a minute in the fourth as McGill went on a 6-0 run to start the final frame. Fourth-year forward Francois Bourque sealed the game by making a pair of free throws to put McGill up by four and retrieved a loose ball with 30 seconds left to prevent Laval from closing the gap in the final moments.
“I knew at that point the game was over,” Bourque said. “They couldn’t close the game or take the pressure and they turned the ball over.”
McGill’s next match is at UQÀM on Nov. 17 at 8:00 p.m. where the Redmen are expected to pick up a second win before returning home for Pots and Pans night against their crosstown-rival the Concordia Stingers on Nov. 24.
McGill has won three of the last six games against Laval by two points or less.
“Shots we just normally make we missed. Sometimes that’s basketball. You make shots, you miss shots.” – Redmen Coach David DeAveiro on the team’s offensive struggles.
Moment of the Game
Francois Bourque retrieved a loose ball with 34 seconds left to ensure a McGill victory over Laval.