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Dal tops StFX 83-63 with strong defensive performance

Photo by Trevor MacMillan
Photo by Trevor MacMillan

(Halifax, N.S.) – A firm defensive performance helped the Dalhousie Tigers top the visiting StFX X-Men 83-63 on Thursday night at the Dalplex.

The Tigers were able to force 15 turnovers and got tremendous output from their frontcourt as well.

Forward Sven Stammberger (Halifax, NS) led the way with 29 points – 23 of which came in the first half, while centre Ryall Stroud (Toronto, ON) added 15 points and seven rebounds on 6-of-10 shooting from the field.

Forward Kevin Bercy (Kanata, ON) was the X-Men's leading scorer, netting 15 points as well as grabbing seven boards.

The first quarter was a tight affair, with the Tigers holding onto a slim 24-20 lead. Stammberger, Stroud and fellow forward Kashrell Lawrence (Brampton, ON) combined for all 24 of Dalhousie's points – 18 of which came inside the paint.

StFX countered with a balanced attack, as six different players had at least one basket, led by guard Julius Antoine (Woodbridge, ON).

The Tigers began the second quarter on a 7-0 run, however StFX was able to respond, with Antoine leading the charge – sinking a three-ball as well as getting to the line for an and-one to narrow the hosts lead back down to single digits.  

Stammberger and Stroud kept up their first quarter pace however, and had 36 of Dalhousie's 49 opening half points, as the Tigers went to the break up by 12.

Both defences tightened up in the second half, as neither squad scored more than 19 points in either quarter.

The X-Men did an effective job of shutting down Stammberger and Stroud specifically, as they added just eight combined points in the final two quarters.

Guard Ritchie Kanza Mata (Toronto, ON) picked up the slack for his team though, finishing with 10 points on five-of-eight shooting from the field.

As good as StFX played defensively in the second half, Dalhousie was that much better, as they allowed just 13 points in both the third and fourth quarters, and kept Antoine and Bercy at bay en route to the 20-point win.

With the victory, the Tigers improved to 4-1, while StFX fell to 2-3. The X-Men's next game goes on Wednesday on the road against Cape Breton, while Dalhousie will travel to face Acadia next Thursday.