Exhibition: McGill's Bibeau bedazzles debut but Bears bite too big
MONTREAL - McGill freshman Simon Bibeau scored a game-high 20 points but it wasn't enough as the Redmen were beaten 87-66 by the University of Maine Black Bears in a CIS-NCAA men's basketball preseason confrontation at Love Competition Hall, Wednesday.
It marked the 109th season opener for McGill, which led 26-24 after the first quarter but trailed 41-31 at halftime and 62-52 after three. Seniors Terrance Mitchell of Milton, Fla., and Troy Barnies of Auburn, Me., paced the Bears attack with 17 points apiece, while Canadian Murray Burnatowski of Waterloo, Ont., added 10.
The Bears, an NCAA Division I squad form Orono, Me., began their five-game Canadian tour with an 81-54 win at Bishop's on Tuesday. Maine plays at UQAM on Thursday (7 p.m.), and then travels to Ottawa to take on Carleton on Aug. 28. They close out their tour against Laval in Quebec City, Aug. 29.
The Redmen took a 64-62 lead less than three minutes into the second half but Maine rallied with a 20-pount run over the next six minutes to go ahead 82-64 and never looked back.
"We played well for 35 minutes and with six minutes to go in the third quarter we were up a point but Maine kind of cranked up their defence and we got a little tired," said new Redmen head coach Dave DeAveiro. "Their pressure defence and experience as a team made a big difference."
Bibeau, a 6-foot-2 guard from St. Bruno, shot 8-for-16 from the floor, including a 3-for-9 performance from three-point range. The highly-recruited rookie out of Champlain College led all players with 36 minutes of court time in humid conditions at the Currie gymnasium.
"He was very good tonight but probably played too many minutes and got tired in the end," said DeAveiro, who moved over to McGill in May after nine seasons coaching the Ottawa Gee-Gees, where he posted a 210-127 overall record. "But everyone got a chance to see how good Simon Bibeau is right now and how good he's going to be down the road. We're quite happy that he's here."
Teammates Tristan Renaud-Tremblay and Karim Sy-Morissette, both freshmen from Montreal, added 10 points apiece for McGill, who also got eight points from Michael White, another local product who has returned for fifth-year.
The much taller Maine lineup had a 38-32 edge in rebounds a 13-8 margin in steals and forced a 20-14 advantage in turnovers. The Bears went 13-for-18 at the foul line, while McGill made only six trips and netted five points. Maine shot 44.4 per cent from the floor, 40.0 from three-point range and 72.2 from the charity stripe, compared to the Redmen, who shot 37.3, 33.3 and 83.3, respectively.
"I really give McGill a lot of credit," said Ted Woodward, in his seventh campaign as bench boss of the Bears. "I like a lot of their guys, some of whom I recruited. They did a wonderful job with the offence they run and played hard on defence. It was a heckuva challenge for us tonight."
The new-look Redmen roster currently features 15 players, including three seniors, one junior, five sophomores and six freshmen.
"Considering that we've only had six days of practice, I'm real happy with the way we played today," said DeAveiro. "We've still got cuts to make and will hold open tryouts as well, so there may be a few more lineup shuffles."
McGill now has eight days off before playing the University of Cincinnati in Ottawa on Sept. 3. After that, the Redmen will play UPEI, Western and Queen's at the House-Laughton tournament at Carleton, Oct. 16-17 before returning home for the Redbird Classic tourney, Oct. 22-24.
McGill Sports Info