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Cape Breton defeats Dalhousie 78-69

Photo courtesy of Chelsea Norris
Photo courtesy of Chelsea Norris

By Jack Longo

The Cape Breton Capers Women's Basketball team beat the Dalhousie Tigers at Dalplex on Friday night. This was the Capers' second win in a row and moved them to 7-7 on the season; the Tigers stayed winless on the season.

Cape Breton came out of the gates strong and quickly built a 8-2 lead in the first three minutes. The Tigers struggled with their outside shooting but played with energy right from the start. Multiple Dalhousie players dove for loose balls and worked hard on the defensive glass to grab rebounds and run in transition.

Whereas the Tigers struggled with their perimeter shooting to start, the Capers moved the ball and got the shots they wanted inside. The early lead Cape Breton built soon became a 22-4 lead with two minutes remaining in the quarter.

The Tigers didn't lose faith and went on a run of their own in the last couple minutes to cut the lead to 22-11 in Cape Breton's favour at the end of the quarter.

Hannah Chadwick (Toronto, ON) and Emma Ward (Moncton, NB) scored nine of Dalhousie's 11 points in the first quarter to keep the Tigers in the game. On the other side, Kiyara Letlow (Toronto, ON) scored six points for Cape Breton to set the tone for the Capers.

Mackenzee Ryan (Glace Bay, NS) scored a couple early baskets for Cape Breton to start the second quarter as the Capers continued to build their lead.

The Tigers offence however found a little rhythm and started to earn some easier shots for the home team. With just under four minutes left in the quarter, Cape Breton called a timeout with the score 34-22 to stop the momentum shifting all the way in the Tigers' favour. Ryan hit another three, her second of the game, coming out of the timeout to maintain Cape Breton's advantage in the game.

Heading into the halftime break the Capers led 40-26.

The story of the first half was the difference in shots each team was getting. While Dalhousie played solid defence, the shots just weren't falling for the Tigers on the other end. Dalhousie shot 25% in the first half compared to Cape Breton who scored most of their points inside and shot a more efficient 50%.

Dalhousie started the second half with more purpose and cut the Capers' lead down to as low as three points with six minutes remaining in the third quarter. The Capers continued to look inside to score but the Tigers' defensive intensity was turned up a notch.

Cape Breton primarily got their points from the free throw line and never fully lost control of the game in the third quarter. Chermensa Van la par (Rotterdam, Netherlands) scored six points, all from the free throw line, to keep Cape Breton on the front foot. Katie Crombeen (Calgary, AB) hit two three-pointers and scored eight points for the Tigers in the third to help Dalhousie back into the game.

Even with the Tigers new-found intensity closing the gap, Cape Breton still held a 59-50 lead going into the fourth quarter.

After the third quarter burst from Dalhousie, the Tigers couldn't keep the momentum rolling in the fourth. Cape Breton's ability to get to the free throw line - 29 made free throws to just 10 for Dalhousie - was ultimately the difference as the Capers held off the Tigers and won the game 78-69.

The win for the Capers moved them level at 7-7 on the season and handed Dalhousie their 12th loss of the season.

Cape Breton's Kiyara Letlow was named the Subway Player of the Game with 25 points and 17 rebounds.

Hannah Chadwick had 16 points, four rebounds and one assist to lead the way for Dalhousie.

Dalhousie and Cape Breton line up again tomorrow at Dalplex in the last regular season game of the 2021-22 AUS Women's Basketball season for both teams. Tip-off is at 1pm.