Game recap by Kirk Jessome
(Halifax, NS) – In a big matchup for future playoff seeding, the Dalhousie Tigers hosted the UNB Reds for a 4-point game on Friday. Starting and finishing the game with strong defensive quarters, the Tigers held on to take an 82-61 win.
The Tigers were all over the glass to start the first quarter, picking up second-chance points on three offensive rebounds in the opening four minutes of the game to force the Reds to take an early timeout.
Coming out of that break, however, Daniel Pitcher (Sydney, AUS) came out firing with back to back shots from deep to spark a big run for the Reds and a timeout from the other side.
That run was quickly stopped by Alex Carson (Lower Sackville, NS) in a similar fashion to Pitcher, with back to back threes, and an incredible one-foot fadeaway with shades of Dirk Nowitzki from the baseline.
As Jordan Brathwaite (Milton, ON) nailed a nearly perfect half-court shot as the buzzer sounded, the Tigers ended the quarter with momentum and held a 28-14 lead.
First-year Matur Maluach (Sydney, AUS) was taking over the attack for the Reds in the second, making great moves in the two-man game, and bodying-up Sascha Kappos (Miami, FL) down low on the other end.
As the defensive intensity picked up, the transition game became sloppy, resulting in turnovers from both sides. The Tigers were able to take advantage of those turnovers, picking up 15 points off turnovers through two quarters compared to 6 for the Reds.
The shooting percentage for the Reds dropped off in the second quarter, dipping below 30% compared to the Tigers at 51% heading into the half, and as a result, they held a 42-26 lead.
Finding their shooting stroke coming out of the break, Ibrahima Doumbouya (Calgary, AB) knocked down two huge threes, one on a step-back with a hand in his face to spark a run from his team and a Tigers timeout.
The shots continued to fall from the outside for the Reds in on the run, with Derian Valdes (Calgary, AB) knocking down a shot from deep while Maluach finished off a tough play down low for an and-one to make it a 22-12 run in the quarter.
Heading into the fourth, the Reds were gaining ground, but the Tigers still held a 56-48 lead.
The Tigers continued to work the ball inside, but the paint was clogged up by Reds defenders and finally, the Tigers got their outside touch to answer the Reds with Xavier Ochu (Milton, ON) and Keevan Veinot (Port Williams, NS) both knocking down one from deep in the early minutes of the fourth.
The Reds were held to just 4 points in the first seven minutes of the fourth quarter while the Tigers were able to extend their lead to 20 on a beautiful euro-step by Shamar Burrows (St. Catherines, ON) and another three from Veinot.
With both teams content to play out the final minutes, the Tigers strong fourth quarter gave them an 82-61 win.
Daniel Pitcher led the scoring for the Reds, finishing with 14 points, while Keevan Veinot dropped in 19 points and added 8 rebounds to lead the Tigers to the win with Jordan Brathwaite earned himself the Subway Player of the Game with 12 points and 4 assists.
The Tigers will look to keep their momentum rolling into their matchup with Saint Mary's on Wednesday, while the Reds will try to bounce back when they meet the Huskies tomorrow.