Game recap by Kirk Jessome
(Halifax, NS) – In the rematch game of the double-header, the Dalhousie Tigers once again hosted the UPEI Panthers at the Dalplex on Sunday afternoon. In a tough battle, the Panthers were able to hold on for a 72-62 win to sweep the weekend.
The Panthers couldn't miss to start the game, with Jenna Mae Ellsworth (Charlottetown, PEI) knocking down a shot from deep, and followed it up with a nice drive for five-points on an 11-2 run for the Panthers to start the game.
The Tigers were able to slowly work their way back into the game with some tough defensive stops, and turning those stops into fouls in transition. The Tigers point guards Chelsea Slawter-Wright (Dartmouth, NS) and Morgan Gause (Baltimore, MD) led the charge in those attacks and earned plenty of trips to the line in the process.
With Bridget McSwiggan (Ottawa, ON) knocking down a nice mid-range jumper, the Tigers were able to bring the deficit back to just two going into the second quarter trailing 17-15.
It was a battle of the bigs in the second quarter, with both Karla Yepez (Quito, ECU) and Chloe Wilson (Dartmouth, NS) displayed some fantastic back to the basket footwork on both ends of the floor.
The offensive rebounding of the Tigers saw them briefly even up the game at 26-26, but the ball movement of the Panthers helped push them ahead with 10 assists on 23 field goals.
Reese Baxendale (Sussex, NB) was getting it done in every aspect for the Panthers, with 8 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists at half, she helped her team to a 36-32 lead at the break.
The zone defence of the Tigers forced the Panthers into outside shots at the start of the second half, with three-pointers falling at a very nice 63% rate, but that percentage slowly dipped throughout the quarter and the shooting touch went cold.
Those frustrations started to show in the way of turnovers that the Tigers were able to capitalize on with Gause and Slawter-Wright getting to the rim in transition.
The defensive efforts of the Tigers helped them to win the third quarter 22-18 to even the game back up at 54-54.
As the Tigers run was growing midway through the fourth, Lauren Fleming (Sussex, NB) was able to settle her team down with a big shot from deep to make it a five-point lead for the Panthers.
The Tigers were scrambling to work their way back into the game, and a few rushed shots from the outside made the difference late in the game, as Ellsworth continued to be fantastic from the field to stretch the Panthers lead and put the game out of reach.
As the final whistle blew, the Panthers were able to hang on for a 72-62 win to take back to back victories on the road.
Graduating senior Chelsea Slawter-Wright finished with 14 points and 5 rebounds for the Tigers, while Jenna Mae Ellsworth finished with a game-high 25 points and 4 rebounds to lead the Panthers. Reese Baxendale earned herself the Subway Player of the Game title with 10 points, 11 rebounds, and 8 assists for a near triple-double performance.
The Tigers will finish up their season at UNB next weekend for a 4-point game. The Panthers will finish up their regular season with a pair of games at Memorial next weekend before heading to the AUS playoffs.