Monday, 21 January 2008

UQAM defeats McGill

Much thanks to Alexandre Tourigny, UQAM broadcaster, for providing this insightful look at yesterday afternoon's game in the "Q"

After losing their first five games it looks like Olga Hrykac's Citadins are finally gelling at the right moment. UQAM played one of their best game (if not their best), Sunday, against a struggling McGill team and won 82-64. UQAM roared out of the gates and quickly built a 17-0 lead. Coach Norman and his Redmen couldn't drop a since shot for the first 7 minutes of the game, thanks to a great UQAM pressure. Joseph Atangana was very effective, blocking two shots in the first two minutes of the game (finished the game with 5 blocks). The key for UQAM was to limit Moustafa El-Zanaty's ability to hit easy shots from the key. Arthaud Plesius did a great job on him. Zanaty finished the game with 18 points, but turned the ball over 6 times. On offence, the Citadins were clicking from all cylinders. Arthaud Plesius (12 pts), Samuel Johnson (14 pts), Mario Joseph (15 pts) and Jules Diagne (17 pts) all ended up with more than 10 points. UQAM shot a great 51.6% from the field, but once again, had lots of trouble from the 3 pts range, draining only 1 shot out of 13 tries. The Citadins once again dominated the boards 35 to 24. Perhaps the most dramatic changes on Olga Hrykac's squad is however the team defence. Once known as a offensive only team, the Citadins played their best defensive game of the year, sunday. They played an up-tempo game offensively and defensively. Olga Hrykac's strategy to play most of her bench is pretty useful to do so. To be honest, their defence reminded me of last year Concordia Stingers defence. Is it a one shot deal? That's what we will find out next week-end when the Citadins host powerhouse (and soon to be in the CIS TOP 10) Laval Rouge et Or on Friday and Concordia Stingers on Saturday. UQAM will have to do without backup point guars Renaldo Maignan (well...not exactly a backup PG as he usually shares minutes with Mario Joseph). Maignan sprained one of his ankles with 5 seconds to go in the 1st half. He could very well be out of the lineup for next few weeks. Olivier Boyard took his place in the lineup and did an OK job to be polite (6 pts, 4 TO, 0 AST in 25 mins). Boyard will have to keep is head leveled as his emotions got the most of him on a few occasions. With 3 wins in a row, the Citadins are starting to look like the team that gelled at the end of the 05-06 season (that ultimatly led them to Halifax). With the wide open QSSF, UQAM could very well be sitting in 2nd place in a few weeks. Concordia and McGill are far from sure locks in the 2nd and 3rd spot in the conference. The Redman now lost 3 of their last 4 games (2 of them vs UQAM...Sunday's game and a 89-59 pounding on January 11th).

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