Dalhousie falls to McGill in Preseason action, Renaud-Tramblay Impressive for Redmen
Tristan Renaud-Tremblay – 14 pts, 9 rebs, 1 ast, 33 mins
Cody Mazza-Anthony – 10 pts, 3 rebs, 22 mins
Casey Fox – 16 pts, 2 rebs, 37 mins
William Yengue – 12 pts, 6 rebs, 2 blks, 34 mins
PHOTO COURTESY: CHRONICAL HERALD
HALIFAX, NS–The preseason is underway for the Dalhousie Tigers and it was probably not the start that they envisioned when they took to the court at the Dalplex against the McGill Redmen.
At the end of the game, the Redmen emerged victorious by a score of 60-48, pulling away in the fourth quarter.
This however was not the first game for the Redmen. McGill had already played against NCAA opponents and managed some good success beating New Hampshire and Niagara College by slim margins.
This was the Tigers first game as the AUS does not allow teams to start practicing together until the school term starts.
In the first quarter the Redmen jumped out to a quick 10-1 start and looked in firm control. With that being said the Tigers powered by William Yengue used his emotional spark to bring it close, closing out the quarter on a 12-6 run.
A sloppy game offensively by both teams allowed the score line to remain low. There were a lot of travels called on both sides limiting the teams offensively as they were unable to capitalize on key possessions.
The McGill intensity was a part of the reason for a lot of the Tigers offensive mistakes. They brought the hard aggressive full pressure all game and allowed their offense plenty of possessions.
Tristan Renaud-Tremblay was consistent for the Redmen and stuffed the stats sheet. He was the closest player in the game to achieving a double-double. Despite being 6’7 he was quicker than a traditional big man and caused matchup problems all night for the Tigers.
McGill had been in control for a large portion of the game and really pulled away in the fourth quarter outscoring a tired Tigers team 18-8.
Coach John Campbell was animated all game as his team’s offensive capitalization was not as crisp as he was used to last year. Speaking to NPH after the game he said “I think we struggled, we had too many turnovers, and we didn’t rebound and we ran an awful offense.”
All rookies for the Tigers, with the exception of walk on Matthew Bertolissi saw game action. Ritchie Kanza a rookie out of Mother Teresa High School got the start for the Tigers. Kanza looked nervous and took a few minutes getting used to the faster pace of the CIS. Once he got comfortable he was able to make crisp passes and minimize his turnovers.
NPH caught up with Kanza after the game and asked him how it felt to finally get some CIS real game action. “It was good to finally get out there and play, the pace is a little faster and guys are a little bigger and stronger, but overall I felt we played good, fought hard and competed and it was good experience for my first game.”
William Yengue had a strong game all around for the Tigers, providing an emotional spark as well as solid defensive and offensive play. When asked about how he thought the game went he replied “today’s game was our first game together and we’re still trying to build automatism both on defence and offense. We lacked discipline at times and we just have to be more focused and improve game after game in order to be ready for conference play.”
The game’s leading scorer, Casey Fox who redshirted last year after transferring from Acadia, looked not as strong in the first half but started to find that smooth scoring touch. The Tigers were unable to get him going with a tough McGill defence. He struggled from three-point range something that doesn’t happen often for Fox; he than resorted to driving hard to the basket and earning his points at the line (6-7 FT).
After the game Casey had this to say “It was our first game, so you can’t set the expectations to high but the more games we get under our belt the better. Right now we are just trying to work out the kinks before the season starts and that’s what exhibition games like tonight are for.”
The Tigers were the much smaller team with two of their taller players, Chris Hunt and Sam Williams out with injuries. They left a lot of the big man roles to Robert Nortmann who was solid showing a wide range of post moves scoring eight points.
McGill will continue its East Coast preseason games with St. Mary’s and Acadia before heading to compete in the Redbird Classic Tournament with McMaster, Toronto and St. FX.
Dalhousie will play UQAM and Brock at home and then head to Ontario to play Ryerson, U of T and McMaster. They start their season at home, November 9th against the Acadia Axemen.