NPH Top Performers:
Jerome Smith – 22 points, 6 assists 4 rebounds
Tory Fasset – 18 points, 10 rebounds, 3 assists
Robert Nortmann – 17 points, 15 rebounds
Alexander Arthur – 14 points, 5 rebounds
William Yengue – 14 points, 9 rebounds
HALIFAX,NS–Whenever these two teams meet it always promises to be a tough battle until the end…this game was no exception.
The unofficial battle for Halifax had a hot Saint Mary’s Huskies team coming into the Dalplex to face a Dalhousie Tigers team that started off the second part of the season with a sweep of Memorial.
As expected the battle for Halifax went right down to the wire, and both teams had the chance to win it late. However, Dalhousie prevailed by a score of 72-70 to take the four point victory and propelling them into fourth place for the time being.
Alex Arthur spoke to NPH about how much this game meant to him.
“It feels great to get a four point victory, and against SMU even better. This game was one I had marked on my calendar. It meant a bit more than the other victories and I’m happy I was able to come off the bench and be a force in helping us get another victory.”
The game started off with a slow offensive pace as both teams traded buckets for the first part of the quarter.
The Tigers were able to take the lead 14-7 after the first quarter of play. However the quarter was highlighted by Tory Fasset’s drive to the basket and finish with the massive dunk, and Brian Rouse’s effort to not give up on the play and in doing so blocked a breakaway dunk by Jumol Mullings.
While their offense was slow and stagnant in the first quarter, Saint Mary’s picked up the offensive attack and managed to score 31 points in the quarter.
A large number of these points came from the continuous effort to shoot the three which worked successfully for them near the end of the quarter. Led by Tory Fasset with 13 points at the halftime break, the Huskies took a 38-33 lead going into the locker room.
Dalhousie was not falling behind too far, as they were being kept in the game by a red hot Alex Arthur who had gone 3/3 from behind the arc and was able to help keep the intensity up for his team.
It looked like Saint Mary’s would be without Jerome Smith who looked to have rolled his ankle just before halftime. The Huskies had already been playing with a small bench due to so many injuries on the roster.
Following the halftime recess, the Tigers came out and really started to lock down the Huskies defensively.
Arthur, who earned player of the game honours, was asked after the game if he felt that he couldn’t miss from three point range, to which he chuckled and replied “My shot is something that I spent a lot of time working on in the off season. I have a lot of confidence in it now but as long as I take good shots within the offense and my range you can almost bet the three points is going up on the board.”
Going into the fourth quarter Dalhousie carried a six point lead. With the game hanging in the balance, Saint Mary’s Jerome Smith started to go to work. Smith hit back to back three pointers and was able to make three in the quarter alone which helped him finish with a game high 22 points.
Free throw shooting was huge down the stretch as both teams went one for two at the line, resulting in a two point lead. There was one more chance for the Huskies as they inbounded the ball, passed it out to Miguel Pink who took the game’s final shot from behind the arc; it hit rim and the game ended with a score of 72-70 in favour of Dalhousie.
NPH caught up with Robert Nortmann who spoke about his team’s performance.
“I thought that we played hard all game and were able to overcome stretches where we didn’t play particularly well. I feel that if we convert our layups and take better care of the ball then we can improve on this performance.”
When NPH spoke with Tigers coach John Campbell, he was quick to point out that although it was a good victory against a good team and a cross-town rival, “we really just need wins right now,” and that the four point victory is “very important to us right now.”
Solid play from William Yenge and rookie Ritchie Kanza allowed the Tigers to get offensive help from a number of players.
Taking the first game in the unofficial battle for Halifax was another added bonus as both these teams will meet again January 25, but this time it will take place at the Tower, a place where opposing teams have had little success.