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Tigers win first game of back to back against UNB

Photo by HFX Collective
Photo by HFX Collective

Game recap by: Kirk Jessome

(Halifax, NS) – In the Dalhousie Tigers final home-stand of the season, they hosted the UNB Reds at the Dalplex on Friday. The Tigers were able to slowly add to their lead each quarter and hang on for the 80-72 win.  

The Tigers started the game on a big run in the early minutes, with Cedric Sanogo (Montreal, QC) opening the scoring with a three, and Sascha Kappos (Miami, FL) throwing down a dunk in transition as the Tigers jumped ahead 13-2 in the opening four minutes.

Ogot Ogot (Edmonton, AB) was able to stop the Tigers run by knocking down a shot from deep as the Reds slowly chipped away at the deficit throughout the quarter.

Holding for the final possession of the quarter, Tyrell Leotaud (Toronto, ON) stepped up to knock down another shot from deep to trail just 18-16 at the end of the opening quarter.

The shooting was cold from both teams through the opening minutes of the second quarter, neither team able to capitalize and pull ahead.

Chris Spurrell (Quispamsis, NB) stepped up late in the quarter to knock down a three to give the Reds their first lead, but Jordan Brathwaite (Milton, ON) answered with a three of his own on the next possession.

Both teams traded a few jumpers in the final minutes, but at the end of a quiet half, the Tigers still held a slight lead at 32-29.

The three-ball was flying at the start of the second half, with Spurrell and Ogot knocking down long shots on back to back possessions. The Tigers were once again able to answer with Sascha Kappos hitting one on the other end.

The deep shot continued to fall for the Tigers at the end of the quarter however, with Kappos and Keevan Veinot (Port Williams, NS) connecting from beyond the arc.

After Will Legere (Amherst, NS) was able to knock down a pair from the line, the Tigers pushed the ball and threw up a lob to Kappos to throw down another dunk with time expiring and the Tigers led 55-48.

Both teams were committed to the three in the fourth quarter as well, with Leotaud hitting one, and Jesse Kendall (Guelph, ON) knocking down back to back.

The Tigers got their contributions from multiple hands, with Veinot, Xavier Ochu (Milton, ON) and Alex Carson (Lower Sackville, NS).

The Tigers were able to hold onto their advantage throughout the quarter, but the Reds refused to admit defeat till the final buzzer. With just under a minute to go Kendall looked calm and collected on what appeared to be a prayer of a deep shot with a hand in his face, and it couldn't have been cleaner.

The Tigers had the final possession of the game however, and with their lead at 8, they were able to dribble out the clock and come away with the 80-72 victory.

The three-point shot was a determining factor in the game, with both teams making 10, but the Tigers were able to do it at a 50% rate, while the Reds were at 38%. Those extra possessions, as well as trips to the line were the difference makers in the win for the Tigers.

Tyrell Leotaud led the scoring for the Reds in this one, finishing with 18 point and 3 rebounds. Sascha Kappos finished with a game-high 23 points and 5 rebounds for the Tigers while Keevan Veinot earned the Subway Player of the Game title with 19 points, 8 rebounds and 7 assists in the win.

The two teams will be back on the court tomorrow at 8:00pm for the rematch, and the Tigers final game of the regular season.