Gaiters Hang On In Ot Against Concordia Fall To McGill
Fridaynight in Mitchell Gym the Bishop’s Gaiters men’s basketball team paced themselves to a sizable lead before holding on and securing a 76-72 victory in overtime against the Concordia Stingers. On Saturday the McGill Redmen were in town and handed Bishop’s their first loss, a 56-46 defeat, since returning to the renovated Mitchell Gym.
Fifth-year forward Majid Naji (Lunel, France) tallied a “double-double”, 19 points and 10 rebounds on Friday night against Concordia. The 6-foot-11 Naji was 7-for11 for from the field including a pair of three-pointers. He also added two assists, two steals and a block. Jona Bermillo (Montreal), Kyle Desmarais (Montreal) and Mike Andrews (Oakville, Ont.) all scored in double digits with 14, 12 and 11 points respectively. Matt McLean (Ottawa) chipped in with nine points and 11 rebounds in the 76-72 overtime victory.
Bishop’s was up as much as 17 points with 6:49 remaining in the game before Concordia crawled their way back to even the game with 0:29 left. Andrews lay-in as time wound down in the fourth quarter rolled out forcing the second overtime game between the two teams this year. In overtime three-pointers by Naji, Bermillo and Jamil Abiad (Orleans, Ont.) paced the Gaiters and helped them secure their seventh victory of the year, 76-72.
David Belanger (Sherbrooke) led the way for the purple and white on Saturday night. He scored 12 points and grabbed nine rebounds off the bench. That performance was not enough to lift the Gaiters over the two-time defending RSEQ champion McGill Redmen. Desmarais chipped in with 10 points.
The low scoring contest was back and forth early on. Bishop’s snagged a 12-11 lead after the first stanza, while McGill won the second quarter 10-9 for a 21-21 tie at the break. The visitors took control and quieted the Mitchell Gymnasium faithful in the third frame. McGill outscored Bishop’s 17-7, leading by as much at 15 at the 3:49 mark of the quarter. Bishop’s clawed their way back slowly in the fourth frame, cutting the lead to four points with 48 seconds to go. McGill did not panic and hung on for the 56-46 win; their third of the year over Bishop’s.
McGill (9-4) has qualified for the RSEQ Final-4 that is set to take place in Mitchell Gym from March 5-7. At 7-7, Bishop’s magic number is still one. They need one more victory or a UQAM (4-9) loss to secure their spot in the second-annual championship tournament. Laval (7-6) and Concordia (6-7) also are looking to punch their ticket to the post-season event. Information and tickets for the event can be found at www.gaiters.ca.
The Gaiters have two regular-season games remaining, their next contest is Saturday, February 21 at 8 p.m. in Lennoxville against the Laval Rouge et Or.