The McGill Martlets and Concordia Stingers are rivals in any sports. For the first time since the nail-bitter in 2013 where Martlets won 51-48, they met in the RSEQ finals on Saturday afternoon at Centre- Pierre Charbonneau. The Martlets were victorious on Saturday afternoon winning 63-51 capturing their six- straight RSEQ crown.
The first quarter was dominated by the Martlets as they had 11-0 lead with a 1:56 left in the quarter. Stingers scored their first points of the game with a three-pointer by guard, Richelle Gregoire and a few seconds later, she hit a jumper. The Stingers trailed 11-5 after the first quarter.
In the second quarter, the Stingers tied the game up at 14 on a jumper by Gregoire. Though, the tie game would not last long as the Martlets led by fourth-year forward, Jennifer Silver opened up the game. Silver with three minutes left in the quarter, scored five straight points which pushed the Martlets led to 24-18. The Martlets led 26-18 at half-time. Gregoire was the only one who was able to score for the Stingers as she had 11 points after the first half. Concordia shot 26.7% from the field.
“We were getting stops but we came down with empty possessions and we already dig ourselves a hole scoring 0 points, it’s a tough climb back,” said Stingers coach,Tenicha Gittens. “We had 18 points at halftime and Ric did her thing scoring 16 of those 18 points but, you’re not going to win a game like that if you have one person scoring.”
“That just their resiliency from their coach and coaching staff “said Martlets head coach, Ryan Thorne on Concordia ability to come back. “ They are all have straight basketball minds and players who did not know the word give up.
The Stingers in the third quarter came out with an a lot of energy as forward, Marilyse Roy-Viau hit a jumper and then convert on free-throw to cut the Martlets led to five points. The Martlets hit some key baskets and at halfway point, were up eleven points, 34-23. The Stingers led by guard, Aurelie d’Anjou Drouin continued to chip away at McGill’s lead and when the quarter ended, there were only down 40-36. Drouin in the quarter was perfect from the field, 4/4 and had one three-pointer on route to eleven points in the quarter.
In the fourth quarter, the Stingers on an early jumper by guard, Caroline Task made it a two-point game. The Martlets responded with a 6-0 run. The Stingers with 4:21 left in the game cut the game to just one point on basket by Gregoire. That was the closest Concordia came to winning the game as Martlets scored 18 points in the last three minutes. Martlets center, Kiss-Rusk scored eight of twelve points in the last three minutes.
The Martlets in the second half shut down Stingers’ Gregoire holding her to just five points after she had 16 points in the first half. Her 21 points was the most by any player on the court. This was her final game as a Stinger.
The Stingers were first in the RSEQ in forcing teams to turn the ball over. They only force McGill to 15 turnovers.
“We also did not force enough turnovers and we force teams to turn over the ball, we force Laval to 31 turnovers in our win on Thursday night,” said Gittens.
Alexandria Kiss-Rusk led the Martlets in scoring with 18 points and seven rebounds. Also Martlets’ guard, Gladys Hakizimana had huge game, scoring 13 points and grabbing seven rebounds. She added eight assists.
“She is our best player and best defensive player, “Thorne on Kiss Rusk. “ She had huge advantage against Concordia and she know how to find it which is how she helps us out on both ends.
Stingers’ Marilyse Roy-Viau in her final game had ten points and five rebounds in the lost.
“I should have played better,” she said. “There is something special about this team and coaching staff and I will never have this opportunity again.
For the Martlets winning this RSEQ championship this year was a special one as the team was 2-2 after the first half of the season.
“This is the sweetest one because a lot of people count us out early and they did not know that a lot of players were injured” said Thorne. “The RSEQ is a strong conference with Concordia and UQAM playing well and Laval is playing like a top team with a great coach.