On August 25, the Concordia Stingers Men’s basketball team opened their 2014-15 season at home in a preseason tilt against NCAA opponent Fordham Rams (Atlantic 10 Conference). Two days later the Stingers continued their early season action against another NCAA opponent in the Loyola Maryland University Greyhounds (Patriot league). The new look Stingers return only six players from last year’s team that lost in the RESQ semis to the Bishop Gaiters and will depend heavily on fifth year guard, Mukiya Post and third year forward, Mike Fosu for their leadership. The Stingers unfortunately dropped both games to their friends across the border, losing 70-48 to the Fordham Rams and 72-49 to Loyola
First game: Fordham Rams vs. Concordia Stingers
The Stingers started the game off strong as forward Mike Fosu scored the first basket of the game and guard Mukiya Post added another basket to the Stingers early lead. Fordham got their offense in gear with a few minutes left in the first quarter by score six unanswered points. The Rams ended the first quarter leading 13-10 after the Stingers early 8-3 advantage.
Concordia again scored the points of the second quarter but the Rams responded with three-straight baskets by guards, Mandall Thomas, Zaire Thompson and forward, Eric Paschall. Stingers’ Mukiya Post stopped the bleeding by drilling his second three-pointer of the night to helped cut the Rams lead. The Stingers went into halftime trailing 34-20.
Fordham freshman guard Nemanja Zarkovic (Montreal, Que) continued to cause problems for the new Stingers as they ripped off a 7-0 run which was capitalized by a three pointer by forward Christian Sengfelder. Stingers’ point guard Frank Mpeck would end the quarter with a three pointer as Concordia trailed 50-31 after three quarters. The Rams continue to dominate the Stingers in the fourth-quarter as they started with yet another 6-0 run. Stinger’s forward Ken Beaulieu gave the home fans something to cheer for as he slammed home a monstrous dunk in the fourth.
The game brought the homecoming of Fordham’s point guard, Nemanja Zarkovic. Zarkovic led College Jean-De-Brebeuf to a provincial championship last season. Zarkovic was also leading scorer in the game with 16 points. Mukiya Post was leading Stinger with 12 points in the los. Ernie Rosa, Stingers Assistant coach on young Stingers team “We have a lot of young guys who are willing to learn, play hard and are willing to win.”Rosa also stated that the game was a great learning experience for his young Stingers team. Additionally, he mentioned that NCAA teams are bigger in height and also quicker and faster. Stingers guard, Mukiya Post was positive after the loss “We have a lot of growing to do, but it is not bad place to start”.
Second game: Concordia vs. Loyola Maryland Greyhounds
Loyola held the Stingers scoreless for the first seven minutes of the quarter and produced a 9-0 run and never looked back as Stingers forward, Xander Jean would put Concordia on the board with a two pointer at 3:20 left in the first quarter. The Greyhounds dominated the opening ten minutes outscoring Concordia 21-4.
Stingers came out firing to start the second quarter as they scored 13 unanswered points to begin the second-quarter, both guards, Mukiya Post and Aamir Gyles knocked down three pointers. Greyhounds guard, Tyler Hubbard made his own magic with a deep three-pointer. Concordia would end up dominating the quarter by scoring 21 points. The score going into half-time was 32-25 for Loyola.
Greyhounds got the first points of the second half on basket by forward Franz Rassman. Stingers forward, Mike Fosu would respond by getting his own basket. Greyhounds’ guards, Stefano Mancini and Denzel Brito added three pointers to the big lead. Loyola ended up scoring 28 points in the third quarter to increase their big margin. Stingers got the first basket of the fourth quarter on a three pointer by forward Ken Beaullieu. The Greyhounds responded on forward, Cam Gregory second slam dunk of the game. Beaulieu get his second three-pointer of the quarter. Greyhounds ’forward, Nick Gorski would respond with his own three. Stingers scored 17 points in the quarter while Greyhounds scored 12 points.
Loyola’s forward, Cam Gregory was the leading scorer as he had 14 points in the win.Stinger’s forward; Ken Beaulieu was the leading Stinger with 12 points. Greyhounds dominated the boards with 41 rebounds while Concordia had 30. Rastko Popovic, Stingers Assistant coach described the game as tale of two stingers team,” second and fourth quarter, we played really well and beginning of the first and third, we weren’t ready to play.” Mukiya Post, Stingers guard describing his feeling after the first two games, “I see a lot of progress in the young guys so (I’m) not too worried about the rest of the season.”
Both universities went undefeated in their tours across Quebec. Fordham went 4-0 and Loyola went 5-0.