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Veinot leads Tigers to 87-86 win over Capers

Photo by Trevor MacMillan
Photo by Trevor MacMillan

By Daniel Simpkin

Halifax, N.S. – The Dalhousie Tigers beat the Cape Breton Capers 87-86 in their last regular season home game Saturday night in Halifax. 

The Tigers entered the game ranked first in the AUS and started a veteran line-up of Marley Blommers (Chatham, Ont.), Alex Carson (Lower Sackville, N.S.), Adam Sellan (Toronto, Ont.), Keevan Veinot (Port Williams, N.S.), and Samuel Wade (Wallace, N.S.) for their final game of the regular season. 

The first quarter immediately opened with high intensity from both teams and the Capers promptly went on a 5-0 run over the Tigers through the first two minutes of play. 

Osman Omar (Mississauga, Ont.) led the Capers through the first five minutes of the first quarter with six points and extended their lead to 11-2 at 4:42. 

Defending AUS MVP Keevan Veinot got the Tigers back on track with a crucial three-pointer at 2:08 that brought them within six of the Capers lead. 

The Capers led the game after the first quarter 21-14. 

Wade opened the scoring for the Tigers in the second quarter after Sellan slipped a clever pass through the Capers defence giving his big man a wide-open look for two points. 

At 5:02, Veinot connected with Wade for a lay-up to chip away at the Capers lead. 

Cooper Ward (Ipswich, Australia) established himself as a stalwart offensive threat in the paint and scored a powerful layup which re-extended the Capers lead to eight points with 2:47 left in the quarter. 

With less than two minutes left, Sellan notched his second massive assist of the game for the Tigers when he rifled a pass out to Blommers for a three-point jump shot which cut the Capers lead to 30-29. 

Omar scored a made an and-one with thirty seconds left in the second quarter and secured a seven-point lead at the half – the Capers led 36-29. 

At the half, the Capers were shooting 48% from the field with 14/29 shots made and their top performer was Osman Omar who had 16 points and five rebounds. The Tigers were shooting 34% with 12/35 made field goals and their top performer, Marley Blommers, had seven points and one rebound. 

Veinot came out hot in the third quarter and hit a big three-point jump shot at 8:40. Omar answered at 7:55 with a three of his own and re-established the Capers nine-point lead. 

Carson started to find his stride, scoring five points in back-to-back possessions, including his first three pointer for the Tigers at 6:58 of the third quarter. 

The Tigers came within five points of the Capers for the first time since the first half when Carson scored and made an and-one to bring the score to 54-51. 

In the final minute of the third quarter, the Tigers took control of the momentum when Ben Shoveller (Arnprior, Ont.) picked up a massive steal on the Capers and passed it down court for an eagerly waiting Veinot who nearly tore the roof off the Dalplex with a dunk that sent the home crowd into a frenzy. 

The Tigers closed out the third quarter with a single made shot from Carson after a Caper committed a technical foul, and then Veinot capitalized on three foul shots after getting fouled on the last shot of the quarter. 

The Tigers entered the fourth quarter with a 63-58 lead. 

The Capers quickly tied the game at 65-65 behind an uncontested three-point shot from Ward at 7:45. Then, Omar extended the Capers lead to 70-65. 

Both teams went back and forth until Carson electrified the arena with two crucial three-pointers that gave the Tigers an 80-76 lead with 1:32 left in the quarter. 

With 12.6 seconds left, the Capers called timeout to draw up a final play to contest the Tigers 86-84 lead which was created by Ngala going one for two from the foul line. 

In a final and necessary moment of action, Tigers captain Veinot blocked the Capers last shot to end the game. 

The Tigers won 87-86. 

The top performer for the Capers was Osman Omar who had 30 points, eight rebounds, and one assist. 

The Tigers top performer and Subway AUS Player of the Game was Keevan Veinot who had 24 points, eight assists, eight rebounds, and one block. 

Both teams continue will head to the 2022 Subway AUS Men's Basketball Championship next week at Scotiabank Centre.