An exceptional season came to an abrupt end for the RSEQ champion Concordia men's basketball team when the Stingers lost two straight games at the U SPORTS Final 8 and were eliminated on Day 2 of the competition in Halifax.
Concordia lost its quarter-final match with the Ryerson Rams 87-47 on Friday and then was eliminated when it lost 84-67 to the Saint Mary’s Huskies in the consolation semifinals on Saturday morning.
In the opening six minutes of Saturday’s game, the Stingers jumped to a razor-thin 14-13 advantage, on the strength of a pair of three-pointers from Adrian Armstrong, while second team all-Canadian Ricardo Monge chipped in five points.
Saint Mary’s finished the first quarter on a 12-2 spurt to take a 25-16 advantage.
Monge, with a corner shot from beyond the arc, stopped what had become a 15-2 surge by the Huskies spanning the first and second quarters. Olivier Simon of the Stingers banked in a shot from downtown to make it 40-26 for Saint Mary’s in the final two minutes of the second quarter.
The Huskies led 42-28 at halftime.
After Saint Mary’s scored the first four points in a sluggish opening of the third quarter for both teams, Simon cut the deficit to 46-31 with an old-fashioned three-point play – the hoop and the harm.
The Stingers continued to battle, with Sami Ghandour making a lay-up, after taking a hard foul, and then completing the three-point play with a foul shot.
The Huskies led 67-49 after three quarters.
After the teams traded hoops early in the fourth, a steal and lay-up from Nico Brauner put the Huskies up 76-54.
Midway through the final stanza, the Stingers – ignited by three-pointers from Ghandour and Tariq Barki-Hamad, along with acrobatic lay-ups from Adrian Armstrong and Monge – made a 10-2 run to shave the Huskies’ advantage to 78-64.
Concordia could not get any closer and Saint Mary’s sealed the deal.
Ghandour provided a double-double for the Stingers – 13 points and 12 rebounds – while Monge and Armstrong also contributed 13 points each. Bakri-Hamad, off the bench, also hit double figures with 10 points.
The Huskies will play in the consolation final on Sunday.
Players of the Game
Concordia: Ricardo Monge
Saint Mary’s: Nikita Kasongo