Friday, 29 February 2008

QSSF: Stingers advance to Quebec Final

Concordia 80, UQAM 77 The Stingers blew an early third-quarter 8 point lead to fall behind 74-70 with 5 minutes left until 6'1" Damian Buckley took over, scoring most of his 10 second half points down the stretch including a steal and "and 1" with about 2 minutes remaining to give the Stingers the lead for good as Concordia advanced to next weekend's QSSF championship game. Buckley had a game-high 30 points (20 in the first half), 5 rebounds and 6 assists while 6'8" Jamal Gallier had his best game since before Christmas with 18 points and 10 rebounds including 5 on the offensive glass and a key bucket to tie the game at 74 with 2 1/2 minutes remaining. The Citadins got a tremendous effort from 6'3" Joseph Atangana, who was spectacular around the rim at both ends, blocking 5 shots and slamming home a pair of dunks including a freakishly athletic play in which he caught the ball with his back to the basket in the low post going away from the rim but somehow immediately rose up and slammed it with 2 hands over his head, leaving the overflow crowd in disbelief. Concordia led by five at halftime and then started the third quarter on a 5-2 run before 6'4" Mario Joseph started a big UQAM run with a clutch 3 pointer which energized the Citadins. UQAM then began creating turnovers and getting out in transition for easy scores. In the half court, the Citadins played small ball, creating difficult matchup problems. When Concordia coach John Dore tried a zone, the Citadins were able to get the ball inside at will. But then Buckley went to work to save the Stingers at home. UQAM had 5 players in double figures led by Joseph with 16 points while Atangana had 15 points, 6 rebounds and 5 resounding blocks but it wasn't enough as Concordia won at home against UQAM for the third time this season in a season-series in which the home team won all five games.

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