Gaiters look to recapture magic in RSEQ Semifinal showdown at Mcgill
It is no secret that when the Bishop's Gaiters step onto the basketball court on Wednesday night in Montreal, they will be the underdogs; and that is ok. Their task is to upset the two-time defending conference champions and No.5 Mcgill Redmen on their home court in an RSEQ semifinal. Wednesday's tip is set for 8 p.m.
Mcgill (19-4, 14-2 RSEQ) has lost just twice in RSEQ action this year and sit as the top seed in the RSEQ. One of those losses came at the hands of the Gaiters on Jan. 26. Bishop's (5-21, 5-11 RSEQ) is the fourth seed.
"It is great to be playing a meaningful game at this time of year," said Gaiters' head coach Rod Gilpin. "It will be a good experience for our guys. Mcgill is very good; they have won the league the last couple of years. They have eight seniors so it is going to be a challenge. With that in mind, there is no pressure on us. We have to go out and play hard and let the chips fall where they may."
Year to Date
Mcgill has three convincing wins against Bishop's this year, 100-78 on Nov. 25, 108-57 on Jan. 26 and 93-71 on Feb. 17, while Bishop's stunned the Redmen 86-81 on Jan. 26.
Who to watch Bishop's
For Bishop's their leader at the offensive end has been without a doubt Abdul Kamane (Montreal, Que./vanier College). He led the RSEQ in scoring at 21.5 points per game, 6.6 per game more than his nearest competitor. It was good enough to place him ninth in all of U SPORTS. He also grabbed 6.1 rebounds per game (7th in RSEQ), and had 2.6 assists per game (6th in RSEQ). Kamane also got to the free throw line more than anyone did in the conference; he went 106-153. In 13 of 16 games, he was the Gaiters leading scorer.
David Belanger (Sherbrooke, Que./champlain-st. Lambert) is in his final year and is the lone Gaiter with playoff experience. His 8.0 rebounds per game was second in the RSEQ, while his 10.9 points per game placed him 10th in the conference.
Kevin Davis (Baltimore, Md./digital Harbor H.S.) has started to round into form for the Gaiters. His 17 points against Concordia to close out the season earned him Provigo, Robert Lafond, Bishop's University Athlete of the Week honours.
Dele Ogundokun continues to be a force around the RSEQ. The reigning RSEQ MVP and three-time all-star is fourth in the conference in scoring at 12.9 points per game, sixth in rebounding at 6.3 per game, second in steals at 2.4 per game and eighth in assists at 2.5 per game.
Alex Paquin joined the Redmen after playing at American University. He leads the Redmen in scoring at 14.9 points per game, which is good for second in the conference. He is also third in assists (3.1 per game) and is the top three-point shooter at 43.4 percent (33-76). He has had games of 29, 24, six and 28 points against the Gaiters this year.
The always dangerous Jenning Leung has also played Bishop's tough. The senior sits seventh in the RSEQ in scoring at 11.4 points per game and has games of 21, 18 and 12 points against Bishop's.
Bishop's beat Mcgill in their previous playoff match-up, a 68-63 victory in the 2015 RSEQ Championship Final…it was also the Gaiters last playoff game… Since 1988-89 Bishop's is 4-7 against Mcgill in the playoffs, including 1-4 in Montreal…bishop's has not beaten Mcgill in Love Competition Hall since Nov. 8, 2014, a 60-59 win to open the season that year.
With the season on the line, the Gaiters play Mcgill on Wednesday night at 8 p.m. A win and Bishop's advances to the RSEQ Championship on Saturday either at Concordia or Laval, a loss and the Gaiters 2017-18 campaign ends.