Derek Norris & Nick Nissirios Fuel Dalhousie over Algoma, Tigers Bench Steps Up
QUEBEC CITY – In the last game of their three-game stretch in Quebec City, Dalhousie bench players offered quite a performance to coach Rick Plato. Not one of the Tigers usual starters saw the floor, as they dropped Algoma 80-63 on Sunday morning.
Asked why he went this way, Plato provided a simple answer. “I wasn’t happy with the way they played last night”, he said regarding their 56-52 loss to Laval. “I always tell the guys if they work hard in practice the opportunities will come, so I went with those other guys and they stepped up. They gave me an opportunity to see them more than I’ve seen them already in game situations.”
Kashrell Lawrence, who played great the first two games, was out with a bad knee though. So was Ritchie Kanza Mata.
Nick Nissirios and Derek Norris, most notably, stepped up for the Tigers. They combined for 37 of Dalhousie’s 80 points as they created holes in the Algoma defense, both creating opportunities inside. Nathan Smith also connected on a couple of jumpers to build a 18-16 Dalhousie lead after one.
On the other end, the offense was much more distributed for the Thunderbirds. Terrell Campbell still got his baskets, scoring 12, but he got help from Jimmy Bilenga (10), Brett Zufelt (10) and Sean Clendinning (14). However it wasn’t enough for coach Thomas Cory. “We weren’t efficient at all this weekend”, he said. “At the end of the day, we’ve got to make some shots.” In fact, they finished 2 for 16 from deep against Dalhousie, going a miserable 5 for 46 in three games.
The lead was 37-30 at halftime for the Tigers.
Then it got worse defensively for Algoma. They allowed Dalhousie players in the paint, Sven Stammberger getting five offensive rebounds, and couldn’t prevent them from scoring. Nathan Smith also got his share of post-ups.
According to coach Cory, it was the end of his team on both sides of the floor. “We got to improve on the defensive end”, he said, “and I think we need defensive stops to be able to push the ball and score in transition. That goes with rebounding too.”
Nick Nissirios knocked down two three-pointers in the fourth quarter to stretch the Algoma defense a little more, and that was it. Dalhouise pulled away and left with an 80-63 victory, much to the delight of their coach.
“Those guys that are 7 through 14 or 8 through 15, they have to be encouraged, in the way that if they work hard in practice, good things happen”, Rick Plato said. “I think this is going to make us a stronger team.”
The Tigers open the season at home on November 8 against UNB.
As for Coach Thomas Cory and Algoma, they begin regular season play on Friday against Wilfred Laurier in Waterloo. “We’re making progress, I see it, and eventually it is going to pay off.”
NPH TOP PERFORMERS
- Derek Norris: 19 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists
- Nick Nissirios: 18 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists
- Sean Clendinning: 14 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assist
- Terrell Campbell: 12 points, 2 rebounds, 2 steals