The defending AUS champions, the Dalhousie Tigers kicked off their title defense with a 68-63 win over the UNB Varsity Reds in front of a full house at the Dalplex on Friday night. Trailing by 10 points at one point the Tigers rallied back to start the season 1-0.
The Varsity reds came out firing jumping out to a 5-0 lead in the opening minutes but Cedric Sango had an answer for the Tigers scoring 5 of their first 7 points. Kashrell Lawrence may have made the basket of the frame, shaking his defender with a nice post move and finishing with the harm.
The Tigers came out of the first quarter holding a 19-16 lead.
In the second quarter UNB continued to be lights out from behind the arc hitting 6 three pointers in the first half. The reigning AUS scoring leader, Javon Masters put the Varsity Reds up 29-24 after driving the lane and hitting a floater.
On the strength of the three ball the Varsity Reds started to pull away. Jesse Kendal hit a wide-open shot from downtown to extend the UNB lead to 37-30.
The Tigers managed to shrink the deficit before half only trailing 37-34 heading into the dressing room.
Masters kept the momentum going into the third quarter finishing off a three point play after being hit on a jump shot extending the Varsity Reds lead to 43-36. He carried the team offensively in the quarter with 14 points.
Dalhousie crawled their way back in the third quarter as Sven Stammberger tied things up 51-51 after a Varsity Reds turnover.
After a strong comeback third quarter the Tigers held a 55-54 lead.
The fourth quarter was low scoring and slow as both team tightened up in the final frame.
Stammberger gave the Tigers the biggest lead of the night finishing off a three-point play giving the Tigers a 58-54 Dalhousie.
The Tigers never looked back after popping out in front, securing the 68-63 victory.
Masters led UNB with 17 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists while Stammberger led the Tigers with 14 points, 4 rebounds and 1 assist.
The two sides will face off again tomorrow night at the Dalplex at 8pm.