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Kappos leads Tigers to 79-75 victory over Axemen

Photo by HFX Collective
Photo by HFX Collective

Game recap by: Kirk Jessome

(Halifax, NS) – In Saturday night basketball action, the Dalhousie Tigers hosted the Acadia Axemen in an important 4-point game at the Dalplex. After a tight first half, the Tigers had a breakout third quarter to help push them to a 79-75 win.

The Tigers big man, Mike Shoveller (Arnprior, ON) was showing off his versatility early, getting into the paint to make moves with his back to the basket, and then stepping out to hit back to back threes.

The Axemen were also living by the three in the opening quarter, knocking down five in the quarter, with Ben Miller (Winnipeg, MB) hitting two of them.

Going shot for shot in the quarter, the Axemen took a slight lead into the second quarter after Temitayo Shittu hit another shot from deep to make it 17-14.

The second quarter saw Jacques Lukusa (Ottawa, ON) and Alex Carson (Lower Sackville, NS) develop a little bit of a rivalry, going back and forth throughout, trading both midrange and deep shots.

The Tigers were able to get into the paint at the end of the quarter and earn trips to the line, but outside shots continued to fall for the Axemen.

Lukusa got the last jab in the quarter, scoring seven points in the final minute to end the half and give the Axemen the lead at 35-29 going into the halftime break.

The Tigers were able to step up their defensive intensity to start the second half, slowing down the outside shooting of the Axemen, and working the ball inside to Sascha Kappos (Miami, FL) and Kevin Duong (Montreal, QC).

Finally managing to take their first lead of the game after a tough step-back three from Carson, and back to back threes from Keevan Veinot (Port Williams, NS), the Tigers took a 54-50 lead into the fourth quarter.  

Through three quarters, both teams seemed determined to live or die by the deep shot, both teams doubling their three-point to free throw ratio thus far.

After the Tigers opened up the quarter with back to back threes, the defense stepped up midway through the fourth quarter as the score remained tight, highlighted by a huge block from Junior Moaku-Matia (Hamilton, ON) after Jordan Wilson (Nassau, Bahamas) looked like he had a clear breakaway after a steal.

Coming back on the next possession however, the Tigers worked high to low with Jordan Brathwaite (Milton, ON) throwing up a lob to Kappos to throw down the alley-oop dunk to help the Tigers maintain their slight advantage.

After a quick timeout, Rowan Power (Dartmouth, NS) came down on the other end to finish a tough three-point play through contact.

After another three knocked down by Cedric Sanogo (Montreal, QC) and a tough fading jump shot at the end of the buzzer from Kappos, the Tigers opened up a 10-point lead late in the final quarter, and it pulled out of reach for the Axemen.

The Axemen put pressure on in the final minute after a three from Nick De Palma (Bedford, NS), followed immediately by a steal, but forcing up a three with just two seconds left, the shot rattled out as the final buzzer sounded.

The Tigers were able to hold on for the hard-fought 79-75 win over the Axemen.

Jacques Lukusa led the offense for the Axemen, finishing with 16 points on two shots from deep, while Sascha Kappos finished with a clutch 15 points to lead the Tigers in their second half march to earn the Subway Player of the Game title.

The Tigers will have a week to recover for their next game against UPEI next weekend, while the Axemen will head to StFX on Wednesday.