(Halifax, NS) – In the first game of the AUS regular season, the Dalhousie Tigers won a close 60-58 game over the visiting StFX X-Women Wednesday night at the Dalplex.
After finding themselves in a 12-point deficit early, the Tigers were able to fight back in the third quarter and take the lead by the fourth. With a dramatic finish, the Tigers were able to hold on for the two-point margin of victory to start the season.
It was a tale of two shooting percentages to start the game. The X-Women got off to a hot start, hitting 7 of 11 from the field, led by Katie MacIntosh (Barrie, ON) providing three of those. On the other end, the Tigers weren't able to get their shots to fall in the early minutes, shooting just 17% from the field as a group.
The Tigers were aggressive on the offensive end, generating their shots by driving into the lane, but they were met by tough interior defence. With just a few seconds left in the first quarter, trailing 23-8, Ariel Provo (Lake Echo, NS) gave the Tigers a boost by hitting a big 3-pointer to end the quarter.
Going into the second quarter, the X-Women led 23-11, playing with a strong drive-and-kick style of play to generate open shots on the perimeter.
Caroline Hrabinski (Toronto, ON) was working hard in the transition game for the X-Women, with two strong end-to-end drives off of a team rebound early in the quarter.
The X-Women brought a full-court press in against the Tigers, but a strong press break resulted in easy points for Karina May (Moncton, NB) and Robertha Charles (Montreal, QC) on a press break play that went end-to-end without the ball touching the floor.
The shooting from the X-Women cooled down a little bit in the second quarter, but they were still able to maintain their lead, going into the half up 38-29.
Leading the scoring at the half were Ariel Provo for the Tigers, and Chelsea Provo (East Preston, NS) for the X-Women, each with 11 points.
The Tigers tightened up their defence coming out of the halftime break, and were able to force turnovers that saw the X-Women chipped away. With just 44 seconds left in the quarter, Ashley Cain (Toronto, ON) tied the game up at 47-47.
Charles stepped up for the Tigers with 8 points in the quarter, as well as picking up important rebounds.
The defensive intensity the Tigers brought held the X-Women to just nine points in the third quarter, and just seconds in the fourth quarter, the Tigers took their first lead since the first minute of the game.
StFX was able to stick with the Tigers after giving up the lead, staying within five points. Chelsea Provo's scoring was pivotal to this, as well as Kimberly Kingsbury (Nepean, ON) picking up key points late in the quarter.
The intensity in the game skyrocketed with just under two minutes to go as Charles made a strong move inside and picked up the old-school three-point play with the hoop and harm to put the Tigers up by five.
After another made basket by the X-Women, Caroline Hrabinski picked up an and-one of her own to tie up the game once again with 40 seconds to go.
With the clock winding down, the Tigers had what looked like would be the final possession of regulation time, till Ariel Provo slipped backdoor on the baseline and put in an open layup to give the Tigers a 60-58 win.
Chelsea Provo finished with 18 points and five rebounds in the match for the X-Women, while Robertha Charles earned the Subway Player of the Game honours with her double-double, 25 points and 14 rebounds.
Both teams will square off again in the second part of the home-and-home series this Saturday in Antigonish.
Courtesy Kirk Jessome, Dalhousie Athletics Communications