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Tigers Fall to Panthers 75-63 in Home Opener

Photo courtesy of Trevor MacMillan
Photo courtesy of Trevor MacMillan

By Daniel Simpkin 

The Dalhousie Tigers faced the UPEI Panthers in their home opener at the Dalplex in Halifax on Friday, November 5th

Both teams came out with some visible rust as they struggled to avoid travelling with the ball or prevent fouls through the first eight minutes. 

Lia Kentzler (Göttingen, Germany) came in as an impact sub for Dalhousie and put some crucial pressure on the Panthers by stuffing two shots and forcing a shot-clock violation. 

However, Panthers guard Alicia Bowering (Orangeville, ON) began to heat up from the perimeter. She picked up two three-pointers to stretch the Panthers lead to 15-11 after the first quarter. 

Maia Timmons (Hantsport, NS) and Hannah Chadwick (Toronto, ON) led the Tigers offence and assisted in closing in on the Panthers 19-15 lead half-way through the second quarter. In addition, forward duo of Kentzler and Chloe Wilson (Dartmouth, NS) served as a major defensive presence for Dalhousie throughout the entire first half. 

Panthers veterans Carolina Del Santo Camos (Barcelona, ES) and Jenna Mae Ellsworth (Charlottetown, PE) combined for 17 points at the end of the second quarter and were leading the PEI offence going into half time. 

Bowering continued her strong three-point shooting performance by hitting a third one right at the second quarter buzzer. The Panthers closed out the first with a 33-22 lead. 

The Tigers appeared revitalized after a halftime talk with first-year head coach Anton Berry. Timmons picked up an early three-pointer and Wilson and Kentzler continued to force the Panthers to make mistakes. Katie Crombeen (Calgary, AB) and Wilson drew back-to-back fouls and propelled Dalhousie to within four points of the Panthers. The score was 45-41 for the Panthers with three minutes left in the third quarter.

Andrea Hebert (St. Catherines, ON) put the finishing touch on a phenomenal quarter for Dalhousie by hitting a huge three-point buzzer beater at the end of the third quarter. 

The Panthers led 52-50 going into the fourth quarter. 

Ellsworth put the Panthers back in control after scoring three difficult layups in traffic, giving her32 points with five minutes left in the game. 

The Panthers continued to extend their lead throughout the rest of the fourth quarter and narrowly edged out the Tigers down the stretch. 

The final score was 75-63 for the Panthers. 

Jenna Mae Ellsworth was awarded Subway Player of the Game honours with an impressive stat-line of 35 points, seven rebounds, and three assists. 

Kentzler led the Tigers, collecting 14 points and six rebounds. 

The Tigers and the Panthers play again tomorrow at the Dalplex on Saturday, November 6th.