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Dal bests Acadia 83-81 in 2OT exhibition thriller

Photo by Trevor MacMillan
Photo by Trevor MacMillan

(Halifax, N.S.) – The Dalhousie Tigers and Acadia Axemen needed double overtime to decide a winner in exhibition play on Thursday night at the Scotiabank Centre. The Tigers were able to come out on top 83-81 in a back-and-forth contest that saw neither team lead by more than six points.

Guard Jarred Reid (Aurora, ON) was the catalyst for the home side, scoring all of his team-leading 18 points in the fourth quarter and two sessions of overtime. Forward Erik Nissen (Quispamsis, NB) played admirably for Acadia in the loss, recording a double-double with 36 points and 13 rebounds.

Both teams got off to a slow start in the first quarter, scoring just two points each in the opening five minutes. Neither squad was able to establish much inside, as both defences held firm, allowing just six combined points in the paint.

The Tigers held a slim 11-10 lead after the opening 10 minutes thanks in large part to their play on the glass, where they outrebounded Acadia 15-8.

Despite being outplayed in the paint, the Axemen did an effective job limiting Dalhousie on second chance opportunities, allowing just four points.

The second quarter featured more tight defence, as both teams forced six total turnovers. Neither side was able to secure sustained momentum in a back-and-forth battle where the largest lead was four points.

Dalhousie forward Kashrell Lawrence (Brampton, ON) was the standout player in the second quarter, displaying tremendous hustle on both ends of the floor, while recording five rebounds.

His fast-break bucket off of a steal in the final minute gave Dalhousie back the lead, which they would take into halftime, 26-25.

A combined 14 players scored at least a point in the first half. Acadia's Mitchell Tempro (Three Miles Plains, NS) and Nissen led the way with seven points each, while Dalhousie's leading scorer was Ryall Stroud, with six.

The Axemen were able to establish an inside presence in the third quarter, and entered the fourth quarter up 45-44. Nissen and Tempro led the way again, with six and five points respectively. Acadia shot 60 percent from the field in the third, thanks in large part to their ability to press into the paint.

The Tigers kept pace thanks to the three-ball. They hit four treys in the quarter – three of which came from forward Alex Carson – after sinking just two as a team in the first half.

After going 0-for-3 from the field in the opening three quarters, Reid went off for Dalhousie in the final 10 minutes of regulation, going 5-for-7 for a total of 11 points.

His trey with 1:46 left gave the Tigers a 61-55 lead, however the Axemen kept on fighting. Nissen led the charge for the visitors, scoring nine points in the quarter and cutting the Dalhousie lead to 63-62 with just 30 seconds left.

Reid would give Dalhousie a 65-62 lead with seven seconds to play on a deep two, but it wasn't enough to down the Axemen, as guard Ben Miller (Winnipeg, MB) would hit a last-second three-pointer to send the game to overtime tied at 65.

Both squads would score 10 points in the first overtime session. All of Acadia's baskets came courtesy of Nissen – whose most important shot came with just one second left, as he grabbed his own rebound to tie the game at 75.

Acadia would take an early lead in the second overtime session courtesy of a Nissen layup, however the Tigers would retake the momentum for good with 2:30 left, off a clutch three pointer from Lawrence, which was followed up by a Reid trey shortly after to make the score 82-79.

The Axemen would cut the Dalhousie lead down to 83-81 with five seconds left and had a chance to tie the game with Nissen at the free-throw line, however he couldn't complete a third comeback attempt as the Tigers secured the win.

Acadia starts their regular season play this Thursday, playing host to Saint Mary's, while Dalhousie will open their season the following night at home against Cape Breton.

By: Mike Still, Dalhousie Athletics