It all comes down to this, Concordia Stingers play McGill Martlets this afternoon in the RSEQ finals with a berth to nationals in Victoria on the line. The Stingers will be trying to win their first RSEQ championship since 1999- 2000 season while the Martlets are going for their sixth- straight title. This is a repeat of the 2013 championship game which was a nail-bitter as McGill Martlets beat the Stingers, 51-48.
Concordia Stingers vs. McGill Martlets preview-
The Martlets ended the regular season with a record of 9-7 while the Stingers had a record of 7-9. The Martlets made it to the finals after they beat UQAM Citadins, 51-48 in the semi-finals. The Stingers made it to the finals after they upset #1 seed- Laval Rouge et Or, 69- 65.
The two teams played against each other four times during regular season and both teams won two games apiece. The Martlets beat the Stingers, 59-49 on November 24th and the Martlets then beat the Stingers, 90-62 on January 21. Both wins occurred at home. The Stingers beat the Martlets, 69-65 on January 19th and then Stingers beat 58-53 Martlets on February 16th. The Stingers like the Martlets wins came at home. It was the first time since 2012-2013 season that the Stingers beat McGill twice during the regular season.
The Martlets averaged 59.4 points a game and scored 951 points during the regular season (4th in RSEQ). The Martlets led the RSEQ in field goal percentage- 40.2%. The Martlets were first in 3-point FG Pct shooting 33. 1 %. They made 81 threes during the regular season. The Martlets were fourth in offensive rebounds with 544 while averaging 34.0 per a game. Lastly, the Martlets had 198 assists this season.
The Martlets offence relies heavily on fourth-year center, Alexandria Kiss-Rusk. Kiss- Rusk was fourth in scoring where she averaged 14.1 points a game and scored 225 points in 16 games this season. She was named a first team all-star for the second straight season. Kiss- Rusk in four games this season against the Stingers, scored 65 points. The Martlets also on offence have fourth-year forward, Jenifer Silver. Silver averaged 9.0 points a game and scored 63 points in seven games this year. Silver has only appeared in one game against the Stingers this season where she scored 12 points in a 59-49 win. Lastly, the Martlets are led in three-point shooting by third-year point guard, Marika Guerin. Guerin averaged 8.8 points a game and scored 141 points this season. She led the conference in threes made with 30. She also led the conference in 3pt Pct. – 42.3 (4th in U SPORTS). Guerin had 47 points including 12 three-pointers against the Stingers in four games.
The Stingers were the second highest scoring team in the conference this year as they averaged 63.6 points a game and scored 1,017 points. Stingers were fourth in field goal percentage- 35.2. The Stingers were third in 3- point FG Pct. – 28.0 and recording 80 triples.The Stingers were dead last in the conference when it came to offensive rebounds as they averaged 30.4 rebounds per a game and had 487 rebounds.
The Stingers for the second- straight year got a majority of its scoring from its duo of fifth-year players in guard, Richelle Gregoire and forward, Marilyse Roy-Viau. Gregoire for the second- straight season captured the RSEQ scoring title and was named a first team all-star. Gregoire averaged 16.9 points a game and scored 271 points in 16 games this season. Gregoire in the four games against the Martlets this year scored 62 points. Roy-Viau finished third in RSEQ scoring after she averaged 15.5 points a game and scored 248 points and for her efforts, she was named a second team all-star for fourth- time in her career. Roy-Viau scored 56 points against the Martlets during the regular season. Roy-Viau in her last two games has scored 27 points and 26 points, both coming against the Laval Rouge et Or. The Stingers have a third piece to the puzzle as fourth-year guard, Jazlin Barker. Barker since arriving at Concordia this year from Holland College has been joy to watch, she averaged 10.1 points a game and scored 152 points. Barker played in three of the four games against the Martlets scoring 18 points.
The Martlets held its opponents to 59.4 points a game and 950 points during the regular season (2nd in RSEQ). The Martlets were first in field goal Pct. defense as opponents were held to 34.1% shooting. The Martlets were first in defensive rebounds as they averaged 32.3 rebounds per a game and had 517 rebounds throughout the regular season. The Martlets were first in blocked shots as they had 55.Martlets were second in the conference for 3-point FG Pct. defense as opposing teams shot 29.1 % against them. The Martlets were dead last in steals as they only had 104. The Martlets averaged 21.6 turnovers per a game. Kiss- Rusk was named defensive player of the year after she had 111 defensive rebounds and 35 blocked shots. Senior guard, Frederique Potvin led the team in steals with 19. In their four meetings during the regular season, Martlets committed 89 turnovers.
The Stingers allowed 67.3 points a game and 1,077 points against them during the season (5th in RSEQ). The Stingers in field goal Pct. defense allowed its opponents to shot 39.8 % against them (5th in RSEQ). The Stingers were first in the conference in steals with 161 and averaged 10.1 per a game. Stingers were tied for fourth in defensive rebounds as they had 614 rebounds and averaged 38.4 per a game. The Stingers were third in 3pt FG Pct. defense as opponents shot 39.2 % against them. The Stingers had 13 blocked shots this year. The Stingers averaged 15.7 turnovers per a game which was 8th best in the country. Gregoire led the team in defensive rebounds. She had 81 defensive rebounds and 34 steals. Roy-Viau led the team in blocked shots with 4. In the four meetings with the Martlets, Stingers had 47 turnovers.
For the Stingers to win their first RSEQ championship and advance to nationals for the first time since 1999-2000, they need to guard Kiss-Rusk. Kiss-Rusk has been known to put up big numbers against the Stingers in big games. She had 31 points against the Stingers in last year’s semi-final game. The Stingers also need to continue to force the turnovers. For the Martlets to win their sixth- straight RSEQ title, they need to limit the turnovers and find secondary scoring because the Stingers will be double-teaming Kiss-Rusk.