Tuesday, 1 March 2011

QUBL semi-finals: Can Stingers remain unbeaten against UQAM ?

One of the unique qualities about QUBL play is that teams play alot of games against each other (4 regular season games vs. each team in the conference), which over time can heighten the hostility between opponents.  By the time playoffs role around, teams pretty much know what to expect.  In the case of the QUBL semi-final tonight in Montreal between UQAM and Concordia, Stingers task is to defeat the Citadins for the 5th consecutive time this season.  But don't let the 4-0 record be overly misleading, Concordia trailed at the half in every game and at least twice needed fourth quarter rallies to win games - so these teams are much closer matched than the record indicates.  6'2" Kyle Desmarais averaged 23 ppg in his four games against UQAM and 6'5" James Clark was solid at 13 ppg.  The Stingers were able to keep vaunted UQAM freshmen 6'6" Alexandre Bernard and 6'7" Vincent Lanctot-Fortier in relative check while veterans Greg Saint-Amand and Eric Cote led the way.  Expect both teams to press and run when possible in a game in which athleticism and attacking the rim should be highlighted.  It may be a simple analysis, but expect the team that makes the most perimeter shots to triumph.  Game is scheduled to be on SSN Canada from the Concordia gym.

In Ste. Foy, the surprising McGill Redmen, who in the end were a final second meltdown at home vs. Concordia away from finishing first in the "Q", look for the upset over Laval, which had an indifferent finish to the season at 4-4 after jumping out to a 7-1 league start.  After playing injured in the first meeting between the two teams, Laval's 6'3" fifth-year senior J.F. Beaulieu-Mahieux averaged over 25 ppg in the last 3 meetings including a 33 point explosion when the Redmen won their only game of the four game series at home.  The scrappy Redmen appeared to be buried in both regular season games at Laval but staged fourth quarter comebacks to lose by 1 and by 6 before finally winning at home as Olivier Bouchard had 21 points.  Given Laval's fourth and fifth year laden group and how well Rouge et Or shoot it at home, a McGill win tonight would be regarded as a solid upset.  Game is available on Rouge et Or TV.

Both games are scheduled for 7 PM this evening.

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