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Tigers survive overtime thriller over Mystics 88-85

Photo by HFX Collective
Photo by HFX Collective

Game recap by: Kirk Jessome

(Halifax, NS) – In the late game of the 26th annual Shoveller Memorial Invitational Basketball Tournament, the host Dalhousie Tigers were taking on the Mount Saint Vincent Mystics. In a thrilling game that needed overtime to decide, the Tigers were eventually able to come away with the 88-85 victory.

The Mystics came out hot to start the game, jumping out to a quick 7-2 lead with Brayden White (Cornwall, PEI) picking up two quick buckets. The Mystics pressured hard to force turnovers and were picking up points because of it, point guard Wesley Bennett (Baltimore, Maryland) led early with 6 points.

It was a fast-paced but sloppy first quarter, as each team had five turnovers midway through.

MSVU held the ball for the final possession of the quarter, and Bradley Fuller (Wolfville, NS) was able to drill the deep shot with a hand in his face to put the Mystics up 26-13 heading into the second.

The shooting touch cooled off in the second quarter, but the Tigers were able to start moving the ball inside and getting into the lane. MSVU continued to pressure and force turnovers however, and maintained a lead late in the half.

The Tigers were able to make a run with only a few minutes remaining in the half generated by strong defensive pressure leading to steals. Those steals gave the Tigers wide open fast break layups for Sven Stammberger (Halifax, NS) and a dunk for Sascha Kappos (Miami, FL) to bring them back within two.

But just as in the first, Fuller knocked down the buzzer-beater to put the Mystics up 36-31 heading into the half. 

The Tigers came out aggressively to start the second half with Stammberger setting the tone on a beautiful dish to Alex Carson (Lower Sackville, NS) to get the Tigers started.

The Tigers took their first lead of the game by getting to the line and knocking down free-throws to put them ahead, followed by Carson knocking down a jumper forcing the Mystics to call a timeout.

The Tigers continued to pressure defensively and build their lead with Stammberger hitting from deep, and lobbing a dime to Kappos for the dunk. Kappos followed that dunk by throwing down another one after a full court pass from Keevan Veinot (Port Williams, NS).

The Tigers outscored the Mystics 28-11 in the third quarter, and went into the fourth up 59-47.

The Mystics went on a 7-0 run to start the fourth quarter, capped off by an old school three-point play from Liam Mitchell (Halifax, NS) to bring MSVU within five.

After a Mystics steal, Joel McCrossin (Amherst, NS) hit Mitchell with a long pass in transition who finished through contact once again, and knocked down the free-throw after.

Alex Carson continued to knock down midrange shots halfway through the fourth to keep the Tigers up by seven.

With just under two minutes to go, the teams started trading 3's. Carson knocked one down from the top of the arc, followed by Brody Blakney (Riverview, NB) hitting one for the Mystics and finally Adam Karmali (North Vancouver, BC), forcing MSVU to call timeout with the Tigers up 8. 

Coming out of the timeout Bradley Fuller immediately hit a deep shot, and the Mystics recovered the ball with a steal leading to a foul. With just 40 seconds left the Tigers had possession up 76-72.

The Mystics forced a turnover out of the timeout and Ashton Slawter (East Preston, NS) dropped it in to make it a two-point game. Another turnover by the Tigers kept it a two-point game with 12 seconds left when Brody Blakney rolled to the basket for a layup to tie the game with 8 seconds to go.

The shot by the Tigers was no good at the buzzer and for the third time today, the game headed to overtime.

Baskets were traded back and forth early in the overtime period with Wesley Bennett finishing two shots through contact, but unable to hit the free-throw. Alex Carson was still getting it done on the other end knocking down jumpers, and throwing a lob to Kappos for an emphatic dunk.

With just ten seconds to go, as the shot-clock expired for the Tigers Kappos made a nice drop-step and finished with a layup to put the Tigers up five. Brad Fuller was fouled on a three-point attempt and knocked down two to bring the Mystics within three.

On the final possession of the game, the Mystics forced another turnover and Ashton Slawter was able to take a heavily contested three for the tie, but it was no good. The Tigers came away with the 88-85 overtime win.

Brody Blakney earned the player of the game honour for MSVU with 18 points, while Sascha Kappos was named player of the game for the Tigers with 20 points and five rebounds.

The Mystics will take on UPEI tomorrow at 3:00 while the Tigers will play UNBC at 8:00.