Fabulous Five formidable as Redmen hoopsters lasso Laval, leap into lead atop Quebec conference


McGill’s Francois Bourque (22)

Box Score
QUEBEC CITY — Francois Bourque of Terrebonne, Que., collected a “double-double” and all five starters reached double digits in scoring as McGill erased an early 12-point deficit and rallied for a 69-63 road win at Laval in men’s basketball at the PEPS gym, Thursday.

McGill improved to 9-2 in their last 11 confrontations with the Rouge et Or. It was a physical affair that featured 38 personal fouls and 40 trips to the charity stripe. When the dust settled, the Redmen found themselves in sole possession of first-place in the RSEQ conference with a 5-2 record, dropping Laval to second at 4-3.

The Rouge et Or led 16-12 after the opining quarter and bumped that up to 26-14 before the sleeping giant awoke. McGill narrowed the gap to 29-14 heading into intermission, then outscored Laval 45-34 over the second half.

“We kind of preach ball movement and really not to rely on any one person, so defences can’t key of just one of two guys,” said McGill bench boss David DeAveiro, who improved his career record to 299-197 overall, including an 89-70 mark with the Redmen “But then we started to make some threes in the second half (6-for-12), so that made a big difference and got us going a bit. We try to get everybody involved in the offence and tonight was one of those nights where it worked out well.”

Bourque, a 6-foot-5, 192-pound sophomore, collected 10 points and pulled down a game-high 16 rebounds in 33 minutes of playing time. He added one block, an assist and shot 5-for-12 from the floor.

“He gave us so many more opportunities on offence with his rebounding tonight,” offered DeAveiro of Bourque, who leads the Quebec conference and ranks 15th in the nation with 8.8 rebounds per game. ” He kept balls alive, he gave us second-chance points, he gave us an opportunity to get second shots. I can’t say enough about the effort from Francois tonight.”

The other McGill starters in double figures were Michael Peterkin, who fouled out after sinking 14 points, Jenning Leung (11), Dele Ogundokun (10 pts, 9 rbs), and team captain Vincent Dufort (10 pts, 8 rbs), who also fouled out.

With McGill in foul trouble midway through in the final stanza, Regis Ivaniukas came off the bench and in just two minutes. he sunk a trey, collected a pair of dimes and pulled down a rebound under the offensive boards.

“Down the stetch we needed a little boost and I thought Regis was the guy that gave us that, with two nice passes to Peterkin for lay-ups and then he hit a big three at the end,” offered DeAveiro.

Laval teammates Karl Demers-Belanger and Thibaud Dezutter tallied 13 points apiece, while Alexandre Leclerc added a dozen in a losing cause.

“We didn’t shoot the ball real well in the first half although we had some good looks,” said DeAveiro, whose troops connected on just 28.6 per cent of their attempts in the first half, but bounced back with a solid 43.2 success rate the rest of the way. “But then we started to make some threes in the second half (6-for-12), so that made a big difference and got us going.”

The Redmen held an impressive 51-35 difference in rebounds and a 14-11 margin in steals. Both sides were credited with three blocked shots. McGill shot 36.1 per cent from the floor (26/72), connected on seven of 22 attempts from beyond the arc and drained 10 of 16 from the line. Laval shot 32.3 (21/65), went 4-for-24 from the arc and put away 17 of 24 from the free-throw line.

The two teams will battle it out for a third time on Saturday at McGill’s Love Competition Hall in a contest that is slated to be webcast on SSN Canada at 8 p.m. The four-game season series is tied at 1-1, with Laval pulling out a 73-69 overtime win in Quebec City in their first rendezvous on Nov. 28. The Rouge et Or will also return to Montreal for the regular season finale on Feb. 27.

1 McGill 7 5 2 474 428 0.714 0.0 10
2 Laval 7 4 3 511 490 0.571 -1.0 8
3 Bishop’s 7 3 4 499 495 0.429 -2.0 6
4 UQAM 6 2 4 425 471 0.333 -2.5 4
5 Concordia 5 2 3 349 374 0.400 -2.0 4

Earl Zukerman
McGill SPorts Info Office

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