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Tigers win first game of home and home against X-Men

Photo by Trevor MacMillan
Photo by Trevor MacMillan

Game recap by: Kirk Jessome

(Halifax, NS) – In their first matchup in the young season, the Dalhousie Tigers hosted the StFX X-Men in basketball action at the Dalplex. A very strong first quarter for the Tigers set the tone for the game, as they came away with the 90-76 win.

There was a strong presence in the paint on both ends of the floor to start the game for the Tigers, with Mike Shoveller (Arnprior, ON) opened up with a block on one end, and a great move to get to the rim on the other.

The X-Men were shooting well early, but the Tigers were using clock and collecting offensive rebounds in the early minutes, and the Tigers got out to a lead. Azaro Roker (Nassau, Bahamas) single handedly brought his team back in it by getting to the line on nearly every offensive possession.

Closing out the quarter the Tigers continued to get to the rim with Keevan Veinot (Port Williams, NS) finding Sascha Kappos (Miami, FL) for a dunk, followed up by Jordan Braithwaite (Milton, ON) finding him with a lob for another hard dunk.

Kappos ended the quarter with a huge block for the Tigers, as they went into the second with a 26-17 lead.

Tristen Ross (Truro, NS) of the X-Men opened up the second quarter with a bang, nailing a three while getting fouled for a four-point play.

Foul troubles were building up for both teams in the second quarter. For the Tigers, it was taking players out of the game with two fouls early, and for the X-Men, they were untimely fouls that sent the Tigers to the line for three-point plays.

The Tigers continued to use their interior play to get to the rim, but this time it was the X-Men who came up with a huge block, with Roker denying Keevan Veinot of the layup in the final minute.

Heading into the half, the Tigers still held the lead at 45-32.

The fouls continued to pile up for the Tigers in the third quarter, this time it was them who were giving up three-point plays to Daniel Passley (Mississauga, ON) and Roker got fouled while throwing down another big dunk.

The Tigers continued to pound the ball inside to Kappos and Shoveller, and that combination of size was tough to guard. The size was complimented by the outside shooting of Alex Carson (Lower Sackville, NS) to help keep the lead in double digits.

After Ross knocked down his fifth three of the game, the Tigers called a timeout that seemed to wake them up. Coming out of that timeout, the Tigers went on a huge 11-3 run in the final four minutes of the third quarter with Kappos stepping out to hit a three, followed by Cedric Sanogo (Montreal, QC) on the next possession.

The Tigers went into the fourth quarter with a now commanding 69-52 lead.

Both sides traded baskets throughout the fourth quarter, combining an interior presence with Kappos and Roker on both ends with the deep shooting of Tristan Ross and Braithwaite for each team.

The lead was too much for the X-Men to come back from in the fourth quarter, and both teams played like it with a very slow pace throughout.

As the final whistle blew, the Tigers came away with the 90-76 win in this one.

Tristen Ross had a fantastic performance for the X-Men with 19 points on 6-9 shooting from deep, while Azaro Roker finished with 19 points and 13 rebounds for the double-double.

For the Tigers, Sascha Kappos finished with a game-high 27 points and 8 rebounds, showing he could both get to the rim, and step out and knock down the three to earn himself the Subway Player of the Game title.

Both teams will be back on the court again on Saturday as they face off in the back end of the home and home series in Antigonish.