Tigers drop X-Men

Photo courtesy of Jessica Pomeroy
Photo courtesy of Jessica Pomeroy

(Antigonish, N.S.) - The defending conference champion Dalhousie Tigers (5-2) scored a 74-57 win over the host StFX X-Men (1-5) in AUS basketball action Saturday night at the Oland Centre.

Led by all-Canadian Kashrell Lawrence (Brampton, ON), who scored a first-half high 14 points, the visitors held a 38-30 advantage at halftime.

In the first quarter, the X-Men jumped to an early edge on the strength of back-to-back plays by junior forward Kevin Bercy (Kanata,ON), including a baseline dunk over a Tiger defender, which brought the home crowd to their feet. Bercy led the blue and white with 12 points and seven rebounds at the intermission.

Late in the low-scoring opening 10 minutes, William Yengue (Douala, Cameroon) answered with a steal and breakaway dunk to spark the Tigers to a 17-12 lead heading into the second quarter.

In the second quarter, the Tigers led by as many as 11 points, with guard Jarred Reid (Aurora, ON) igniting the surge with a trio of three-pointers to give the visitors a 33-24 lead. 

Near the end of the first half, the X-Men battled back, with first-year forward Josh Millar (Ottawa, ON) scoring the final points before intermission on a left-handed drive down the lane, which cut the Tigers' edge to eight.

Another key play came from sophomore guard Jason Hatch (Arzo, Switzerland), who drained a three-pointer in the X-Men rally.

In the third quarter, the Tigers widened their lead to 12, with the X-Men getting no closer than a six-point deficit, after an old-fashioned hoop-and-harm three-point play by Julius Antoine (Woodbridge, ON), who finished with 11 points, along with five assists, three rebounds and one steal.

The Tigers put the game away with a 9-0 run to start the fourth quarter, keyed by a pair of baskets from Yengue and a three-pointer from Sven Stammberger (Halifax, NS), who finished with 12 points, eight rebounds, one assist and one blocked shot.

On a Ritchie Kanza Mata shot from beyond the arc, the Tigers took their largest lead of the night - 68-46, with the X-Men getting no closer than 15 points in the final minutes of the game.

Reid, the Subway player of the game, scored a game-high 20 points, including a four-for-five performance from three-point range. 

Lawrence finished with 18 points and a game-best 13 rebounds, along with three assists and four steals.

Yengue also hit double digits, with 11, while Kanza Mata topped assist makers with eight.

Bercy, the X-Men player of the game, finished with a double-double - 16 points and 10 rebounds - while Davonte Provo (East Preston, NS) notched a team-high seven assists. Bercy also added three steals in the loss.

It was the final regular season game for both clubs prior to the Christmas break.