Game recap by: Kirk Jessome
(Halifax, NS) – In their final home game of the season, the Dalhousie Tigers hosted the Acadia Axemen in a battle for AUS standings. The Axemen combined lights-out shooting with tough defence in the first quarter and were able to hold a lead throughout to take the 75-63 win.
It was a tale of two shooting percentages to start the game as the Tigers couldn't take the lid off the basket in the early minutes, but the Axemen were on fire from the field early, jumping out to a quick 10-0 lead. The Axemen were strong as always from beyond the arc with Nick De Palma (Bedford, NS) and Ben Miller (Winnipeg, MB) knocking down two each in the run.
The Tigers rallied back with a 6-0 run at the end of the first quarter and extended it into the second with strong shooting from Alex Carson (Lower Sackville, NS), but the Axemen ended the first quarter with a 21-11 lead.
The Axemen combined a strong interior presence of Erik Nissen (Quispamsis, NB) and Rhys Larry (Brockville, ON) on the glass with Miller and Mitchell Tempro (Three Miles Plains, NS) continuing to shoot the lights out from deep.
The series of tough offensive sets continued for the Tigers to end the half, shooting a combined 35% from the field through two quarters compared to the 62% the Axemen put together. One of the big reasons for the high percentage from the Axemen was their ability to push the ball in transition and finish fast break points at the rim.
Carson led the Tigers in first half scoring with 13 points, including two shots from deep. Miller was perfect in the first half for the Axemen, going 5-5 from the field including 3-3 from long range for 14 points.
Heading into the break, the Axemen were up big on the Tigers, 48-30.
The Tigers came out of the break looking like a different team. The defensive intensity stepped up, forcing tough shots and turnovers, resulting in a big 10-1 run in the opening four minutes. The long range shot of Carson was huge once again in the run, picking up six points from deep.
The Tigers pulled themselves within 9 at the five-minute mark, but Acadia was able to stretch their lead back to 15 by the end of the quarter. Mitchell Tempro was big for the Axemen to increase the lead, causing problems in the paint for the Tigers.
At the end of three quarters, four Axemen were in double digits as they held a 65-50 lead.
Sven Stammberger (Halifax, NS) finally got himself going in the fourth, picking up the Tigers first seven points in the opening minutes of the quarter, but the Axemen continued to pick up timely shots from long range to hold their lead.
The Axemen were able to dribble out the clock on the fourth quarter and come away with the 75-63 victory.
Stammberger led the way for the Tigers in his final home game with 18 points, six rebound and six assists. For the Axemen, Ben Miller earned the Subway Player of the Game title, finishing with 14 points, six rebounds and five assists, going 3-4 from long range.
The Tigers will wrap up their regular season on the road with back to back four-point games that are key for standings starting Friday at UNB. The Axemen will finish their regular season with a four-point trip to Cape Breton on Friday.