Game recap by Kirk Jessome
(Halifax, NS) – To tip-off the 2019-20 AUS women's basketball season, the Dalhousie Tigers hosted the StFX X-Women at the Dalplex on Saturday. Having to climb back into the game late in the fourth, the Tigers were able to hang on to a 72-67 win.
The Tigers opened the game with some hot shooting from deep, picking up three on the opening shot of the game from Chloe Wilson (Dartmouth, NS) shortly before Chelsea Slawter-Wright knocked one down as well.
Making great use of backdoor cuts, the X-Women were able to get wide open looks in the paint for Karina Sarai (Surrey, BC) throughout the first quarter on a few great passes from Lucie MacKay (New Glasgow, NS) at the top to give her four assists in the opening frame.
After trading threes late in the quarter from Slawter-Wright and Briar MacDonald (Antigonish, NS), the teams went into the second frame with the Tigers holding the lead at 16-13.
Lucie MacKay got the second quarter off to a nice start with a beautiful euro-step to beat her defender for an easy layup in transition for the X-Women.
The outside shooting began to cool down for the Tigers in the quarter, but they were able to earn points from the line with continued interior pressure coming from Chloe Wilson and her 10 points in the half.
The foul trouble, combined with some cold shooting gave the X-Women a rough quarter offensively, but their offensive rebounding helped allowed them to keep the score tight going into the half with Marley Bonnick (Brampton, ON) collected 8 rebounds in the half.
Going into the break, the Tigers still held an edge at 30-25.
A renewed defensive intensity allowed the X-Women to close the gap early in the quarter, causing turnovers and getting out quickly in transition for easy baskets.
The teams continued to trade threes in the quarter, with MacDonald and Aliyah Fraser (New Glasgow, NS), while Slawter-Wright continued to connect to lead the Tigers, with another added from Meghan Greenland (St. John's, NL).
Marley Bonnick was a strong presence in the paint on both ends of the floor for the X-Women, as they took over the lead going into the final quarter at 49-46.
The deep shot continued to be there for the X-Women with Bonnick and MacDonald each picking one up in the early minutes of the fourth quarter.
The Tigers were consistently able to answer, however, with Slawter-Wright picking up her fourth three of the game.
After getting down by as much as 6 in the quarter, the Tigers clawed their way back into the lead with Emily Holt (Halifax, NS) hitting a deep two, and Wilson making a great play to slip a pick for a wide open layup for a 70-67 lead with just one minute to go.
After a miss from the X-Women, the Tigers used the full clock before Nalini Maharaj (East Bay, NS) knocked down a midrange shot for a 72-67 lead, and the eventual win.
Marley Bonnick led the X-Women with a strong double-double performance of 23 points and 11 rebounds. Chelsea Slawter-Wright finished with a game-high 24 points on 4-6 shooting from three while adding 8 rebounds and 7 assists to earn the Subway Player of the Game for the Tigers in the win.
The Tigers will be back on home court on Wednesday when they take on Saint Mary's as part of the 40th anniversary of the Dalplex. The X-Women will have their home opener next Friday against UPEI.