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Tigers win season opener 85-65 over Capers

Photo by Trevor MacMillan
Photo by Trevor MacMillan

Game recap by: Kirk Jessome

(Halifax, NS) – In the much anticipated home opener for the Dalhousie Tigers men's basketball team, they hosted the Cape Breton University Capers at the Dalplex. The Tigers had an explosive third quarter that helped them to an 85-65 victory over the Capers.

The Tigers got their season started in dramatic fashion with Xavier Ochu (Milton, ON) slashing into the lane with a nice euro-step finish to open the scoring.

The Capers played an aggressive pressure defense that the Tigers struggled to break through in the first few possessions before they could establish their transition game, and this led to steals and lay-ins at the other end for Osman Omar (Mississauga, ON).

The Tigers established a strong defensive set of their own, with Mike Shoveller (Anprior, ON) coming off the bench and swatting away two shots with force.

A steal by Tigers rookie Adam Sellan (Toronto, ON) led to the final possession of the quarter where Ochu was able to drive into the lane off of a screen from Shoveller and finish it despite getting fouled. This put the Tigers up 19-10 after the first.

The start of the second quarter was full of sloppy play from both sides, with turnovers and defensive lapses on both ends, but very little scoring.

The Tigers turnovers continued to pile up toward the end of the quarter, with frustration fouls setting in and giving the Capers trips to the line to chip away at the Tigers lead.

After a tough quarter for both teams, they went into the locker rooms with the Tigers leading 34-22.

The Tigers opened the half with some energy on both ends of the floor with Sascha Kappos had a huge block, and Cedric Sanogo (Montreal, QC) picked up both types of three-point plays in the opening minutes.

The Capers were more aggressive out of the break as well, with Shacqier Locke (Sydney, NS) being resilient in getting into the paint for tough layups, picking up six points in the first few minutes of the quarter.

The lead was extended to 20 by the Tigers in the quarter, highlighted by a great spin-move by Kevin Duong (Montreal, QC) to get to the rim for a tough lay-in off glass.

Heading into the final quarter the Tigers were up 65-40.

The teams traded buckets in the fourth quarter, but the lead consistently remained at 25 for the Tigers throughout.

Mike Shoveller led the final few minutes for the Tigers, getting to the rim with some great footwork and finishing through contact to pick up three-point plays.

Locke continued to provide the offense for the Capers at the rim in the quarter. He finished with a game-high 19 points and 6 rebounds. Xavier Ochu led the Tigers with a 14 point, 10 rebound double-double effort to earn the Subway Player of the Game title with the Tigers taking the 85-65 win.

The two teams will face off again tomorrow for the second game of the back to back at 3:00pm.