Game recap by: Kirk Jessome
(Halifax, NS) – In the first game of a back to back set, the Dalhousie Tigers hosted the UNB Reds at the Dalplex on Friday night. The Tigers were able to survive a late run from the Reds, and held on to take a 76-72 win.
The Tigers started the game with a strong inside-out style of play, first working the ball inside to Robertha Charles (Montreal, QC) and Lia Kentzler (Gottingen, GER) to work in the paint and open up space on the outside for Chelsea Slawter-Wright (Dartmouth, NS) to knock down threes.
The Reds were struggling from the field in the early minutes of the quarter, but continued to push the ball inside and earn their points from the line.
Just as the Reds were starting to work their way back from the early Tigers run, Karina May (Moncton, NB) and Emily Holt (Halifax, NS) each knocked down a shot from deep to extend their lead to 25-14 going into the second quarter.
The shooting from both teams was cold to start the second quarter, but the Reds were able to capitalize on steals by pushing the ball in transition to continue earning trips to the free-throw line with Miaela Dodig (Bolton, ON) doing most of the work there.
The Tigers were once again able to make a run to close out the quarter, with three-point shooting making the difference. The Tigers were shooting above 40% from deep while the Reds were still 0-10 from long-range.
With Sophie Gaube (Hubley, NS) dropping in another layup in transition, the Tigers lead grew to 44-29 at the half.
The Reds came out with new energy in the third quarter, with their pressure defence trapping the Tigers on their own end of the court with turnovers piling up for them. The Reds were able to take those extra possessions to build a run with Dodig continuing to knock down jumpers.
The lead was brought down as low as 9 at the start of the quarter, but the Tigers once again recovered for a late run and a big three-point play helped push the lead back up to 18 in the final minutes of the third.
The Reds continued to apply their pressure defence to start the fourth quarter and once again gave the Tigers trouble in getting out of their own half. Capitalizing on another steal, Dodig was finally able to knock down the first three of the game for the Reds.
The lead appeared to be out of reach as the Tigers settled in, but the Reds refused to go away late in the game with Grace Simpson (Fredericton, NB) taking over the offense for UNB late. With two minutes to go, Simpson made a strong move to get to the rim and finish through contact to start the run.
With less than a minute to go, Jane Boyle (Halifax, NS) stepped up and knocked down a three, as well as getting to the line for a three-point play in back to back possessions, bringing the Reds within three.
Just seven seconds left in the game, the Tigers were able to hold possession and get to the line where Karina May split the pair to secure the 76-72 win for the Tigers.
Mikaela Dodig led the scoring for the Reds in the loss, finishing with a game-high 24 points, while Robertha Charles finished with 16 points and 7 rebounds for the Tigers.
Both teams will be back on the court tomorrow for the second game of the back to back.