The No. 6-ranked McGill Redmen defeated the UQAM Citadins 82-65 to earn their fourth RSEQ men’s basketball championship in the last five years.
McGill took control early in the game played at the Pierre Charbonneau Centre in Montreal on Saturday night and was never put under much pressure. After a well-executed 81-71 semifinal upset of the Concordia Stingers on Friday, the Citadins’ intensity and level of play declined in the final.
“We had too many mental lapses, too many turnovers,” said UQAM head coach Nate Philippe. “The more experienced, more mature team won.”
McGill’s Dele Ogundokun, the RSEQ regular season MVP and the player of the game in the championship, said his team was prepared for UQAM’s aggressive approach.
“We knew they were going grind it out,” he said. “It’s what they do, and we did what we do. We play with energy and play defence. We put ourselves in a position to win.”
McGill led 19-16 after the first quarter and had a 42-32 lead at halftime. In the fourth quarter the Redmen even stretched their lead to 30 points for a while.
“We came out a little flat in the first half,” said Ogundokun. “In the second half we were a little more aggressive on the defensive end. Those stops turned into offensive opportunities for us.”
Ogundokun had 13 points and four rebounds in the game. Teammate Jenning Leung was McGill’s top scorer with 15 points and he added six rebounds.
For UQAM, Greishe Clerjuste was the player of the game. He led all scorers with 24 points.
McGill has earned a berth at the U SPORTS Men’s Basketball Final 8 at the Scotiabank Centre in Halifax March 9-12.