(Halifax, NS) – In the AUS regular season basketball opening game, the Dalhousie Tigers defeated the StFX X-Men 94-75 in front of a capacity crowd at Dalplex Wednesday evening.
After getting out to a strong lead early in the game, the Tigers survived a scare from the X-Men in the fourth quarter as they cut the lead to just two points. The Tigers put together a run with just a few minutes left, and were able to come away with the victory.
Sven Stammberger (Halifax, NS) picked up right where he left off in the pre-season, putting on a shooting display early going 5-for-5 with 11 points in just three minutes.
The X-Men spread their scoring in the first quarter with four of their starters picking up multiple baskets, led by Kevin Bercy (Kanata, ON) with seven points, going 3-for-3 from the field.
Stammberger also remained perfect from the field through the first quarter, finishing with 19 points, while Jordan Aquino-Serjue (Montreal, QC) picked up seven.
After one high-scoring quarter, the Tigers led 35-22 over StFX.
The pace of play slowed drastically in the second quarter, and it benefited the X-Men who were able to chip away at the Tigers lead, outscoring them 16-12 in the quarter. Bercy continued to lead StFX in scoring, picking up 13 in the half, along with three rebounds.
First year Keevan Veinot (Port Williams, NS) led the quarter for the Tigers with his first career AUS points.
The Tigers went into the half leading the X-Men 47-38.
The X-Men were able to get their interior game going in the third quarter, as they found space to drive base-line and drop a pass off to a teammate when the defender stepped in to help. This type of play also opened up outside shots for players like Tristen Ross (Truro, NS) to pick up threes.
Alex Carson (Lower Sackville, NS) got his outside shooting touch going as he picked up two threes of his own in the quarter.
The third quarter ended with Jaydan Smith (Halifax, NS) launching a half-court shot to beat the buzzer and inch the X-Men closer to the Tigers. Going into the fourth quarter the score was 66-62 for the Tigers.
The first two minutes of the fourth were full of highlights for both sides.
Veinot drove the lane and finished a circus-layup through a crowd for the Tigers. This play picked up the intensity for both sides.
Azaro Roker (Nassau, Bahamas) was producing a highlight reel of his own as he drop-stepped into a hard dunk over a Tigers defender. On the next possession he came down and put another tough shot over a defender, plus the foul.
With their lead only at two, the Tigers moved into a pick-and-roll offense that opened up the key for their big-man Sascha Kappos (Miami, FL) to pick up important points for the Tigers, including a strong dunk of his own.
The Tigers were able to pick up the pace in transition on long rebounds from missed shots by the X-Men, and Stammberger put the game out of reach with a breakaway dunk.
Despite the late scare, the Tigers held on for the 94-75 win.
Kevin Bercy led the scoring for the X-Men, picking up a double-double with 18 points and 10 rebounds, while Stammberger picked up the Subway Player of the Game honours with his game-high 35 points, five rebounds, and three assists.
The two teams will face off again this Saturday in Antigonish as the second part of the home-and-home. Tip-off is 8:00 pm at the StFX Oland Centre.
Courtesy Kirk Jessome, Dalhousie Athletics Communications