“It was a great crowd,” fourth-year guard and McGill Redmen basketball captain Dele Ogundakun said of the 703 fans in attendance for McGill Athletics’ annual Pots and Pans night. “We want to make it a great show for this crowd and a great atmosphere.”
With the rambunctious Redmen faithful in attendance, McGill (2-1) embarrassed the rival Concordia Stingers (2-2) 96-56 on Thursday night at Love Competition Hall.
Spurred on by the clanging of pots and pans, the Redmen jumped out to a 29-2 run to start the game.
“As soon as the lights went out, the fans got into it,” Head Coach Dave DeAveiro said. “I want our crowd to understand that they make a huge difference in the way we play.”
The Redmen offence was on fire from deep, connecting on 17 of 32 shots from beyond the arc.
“We’ve been shooting a lot [of 3-pointers] in practice,” Dele Ogundakun said, “We’ve been shooting so much we have to make them in the game.”
Defensively, the Redmen swarmed the Stingers, forcing Concordia to shoot from the outside.
“I thought they followed the game plan really well,” DeAveiro said. “We didn’t want to let them have any easy baskets at the rim and I thought we did that for the most part.”
Having struggled earlier in the year, Ogundakun broke out for McGill, tying a school record for three-pointers on seven for 10 shooting from deep. He recorded a career high 29 points along with six rebounds and four assists.
“I’ve been trying to get my rhythm back,” Ogundakun said. “This is a breaking point back to the old Dele.”
However, it was the veteran captain’s leadership that shined the brightest throughout the game.
“I just want to teach all the young guys what I wish I knew when I was younger,” Ogundakun said.
With the game out of hand late, DeAveiro gave his bench the opportunity to log significant minutes in the final quarter. Third year guard Avery Cadogan scored nine points in the fourth quarter as the bench showed continued improvement this season.
“They just played the way I expected them to play,” DeAveiro said. “If they didn’t play that way, I’d be upset.”
The Redmen now head out to Lennoxville for a date with the Bishop’s Gaiters (0-3) on Saturday. The former RSEQ powerhouse has struggled this season, but McGill isn’t going to take them lightly.
“They’re a desperate team,” DeAveiro said. “It’ll be a nice test to see if we have the mental toughness to come back in 48 hours and play a tough team in their gym.”
Stat of the game: McGill was four points away from hitting the century mark for the first time since 2014.
Quotable: “I don’t think we’ve ever lost a game on a night like that.” – Head Coach Dave DeAveiro said of the atmosphere created by the 703 fans in attendance.
Moment: A 3-pointer from Noah Daoust in the first minute of play would be as close as the Stingers would be to defeating the Redmen.