Gaiters Hang On In Ot Against Con­cor­dia Fall To McGill

Stanstead Journal - - SP RTS - Lennoxville, Sher­brooke

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.

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