By Daniel Simpkin
Halifax, NS – The Dalhousie Tigers beat the UNB REDS 82-67 at home on Sunday, March 6th.
Chris Spurrell (Quispamsis, NB) and Keevan Veinot (Port Williams, NS) traded three-pointers to open the first quarter. However, a second three from Spurrell off of an assist from Thomas Legallis (Cornwall, ON) quickly extended the REDS out to an early five-point lead.
At 4:57, Samuel Maillet (Moncton, NB) came up with a big block on the REDS that led to a Shamar Burrows (Nassau, Bahamas) lay-up off of an assist by Veinot that gave the Tigers their first lead of the game, up 9-8.
Shortly before the quarter break, Sterling Simpson (Fredericton, NB) hit a three-pointer that narrowed the gap between the REDS and the surging Dalhousie offence. However, a last second foul on Corey Nzigamasabo (Saint Basile Le Grand, QC) sent Burrows to the line for two foul shots.
The Tigers led 17-15 at the end of the first quarter.
Out of the break, the Tigers stifled the REDS and prevented them from scoring while they went on a five-point run and stretched their lead to 22-15.
Behind the calculated leadership of Veinot, the Tigers increased their scoring output and at 5:14 of the second quarter led by 11 with back-to-back mid-range jump shots from Alex Carson (Lower Sackville, NS) and Burrows.
Another run from the Tigers saw Maillet finish a big lay-up off a steal from Veinot. The skillful transition play of the Tigers forced the REDS coach to call a strategic timeout when they began trailing 35-20 at 4:02 of the second quarter.
In the closing minute of the first half, Veinot threw down a massive momentum driven dunk that sent the home crowd roaring to its feet.
At the half, the Tigers led 43-32 shooting 51.5% from the field on 17/33 made attempts. The Tigers leading scorer was Keevan Veinot who had 16. The REDS were shooting 32.4% from the field on 12/37 attempts and their leading scorer, Chris Spurrell, had seven.
LeGallais opened up the scoring for the REDS with an assist to Spurrell and then a three-pointer of his own on the next possession.
At 8:06 of the third quarter, Ibrahima Doumbouya (Calgary, AB) brought the REDS within seven of the Tigers lead after hitting three foul shots in a row on two different possessions and getting an offensive board he used to score a lay-up.
Reese Zargole (Halifax, NS) scored seven-straight points for the REDS on an impressive run that cut into the Tigers lead which stood at 54-50 with 2:07 left in the third quarter.
The REDS improved on their first half performance but still trailed by nine at the end of the third. The Tigers led 62-53 with 10 minutes left in the game.
Doumbouya picked up a crucial and-one to open the fourth quarter for the REDS and quickly brought the score to 62-56.
Veteran guard duo Carson and Veinot locked in for an assisted three-point shot at 4:36 of the fourth quarter that re-extended the Dalhousie lead back out to eight points.
The late-game momentum shifted in Dalhousie's favour after Maillet slammed home a dunk that electrified the Tigers bench with two minutes left to play.
From there on, the Tigers clung to their healthy lead and won the game 82-67.
The top performer for the REDS was Ibrahima Doumbouya with 17 rebounds and 16 points.
The top performer for the Tigers was Keevan Veinot who had a dominant performance all-around and a stat line of 28 points, 11 rebounds, and six assists.
The recipient of Subway AUS Player of the Game honours went to Dalhousie's Shamar Burrows who had a dominant scoring performance and a stat line of 26 points, four rebounds, and one assist.
Up next, the Tigers face the Cape Breton Capers on Friday, March 11th and the REDS play the Saint Mary's Huskies on the same day.