HALIFAX, NS–The first game of the tournament pitted AUS rivals Saint Mary’s Huskies against the Cape Breton Capers. Saint Mary’s jumped on Cape Breton early and opened up a double digit lead. Behind strong bench pla,y CBU fought its way back into the game with a 22-16 edge in the second quarter to close to a 34-36 half time score.
For a semester break exhibition tournament, both teams displayed a great deal of intensity and really worked hard on the defensive side of the ball. The teams battled through the third quarter with each taking turns grabbing the lead.
Cape Breton held a slim two point lead at 53-51 after three.
In the first six minutes of the quarter CBU looked like they were going to take control but struggled offensively against SMU’s tough half court D. Cape Breton stars Shaquile Keith and Jimmy Dorsey struggled in the game on a combined 4/18 shooting and 12 turnovers (11 by Keith).
Saint Mary’s Jeremy McAvoy nailed a huge three with just over a minute left to give SMU a 2 point edge and then they played the free throw game with McAvoy going 6/6 giving Saint Mary’s the 71-65 win.
6-8 Saint Mary’s forward Kevin Thomas quietly put together a monster game with 17 points and 17 rebounds and won out a tough head to head with Meshack Lufile who had 11 and 7. Kayon Mayers (11pts, 6rebs, 4stls) was the best player on the floor for the Capers on this day as he picked up the point play while Dorsey got his injured hand tapped.
Saint Mary’s Huskies
- Kevin Thomas 17pts, 17rebs, 3stls
- Harry Ezenibe 14pts, 10rebs
- Jeremy McAvoy 14pts, 6rebs, 4 asts
Cape Breton Capers
- Shaquille Keith 12pts, 5rebs, 3stls
- Kayon Mayers 11pts, 6rebs, 4stls
- Meshack Lufile 11pts, 7 rebs
Laurentian University vs St Francis Xavier University
This was my first view of the Laurentian Voyagers and boy do they like to run the ball, and St FX despite a huge size advantage was more than happy with that being their style as well. The difference is X does it off the bounce and Laurentian does it off the pass. The fans knew they were in for a treat when Nelson Yengue of Laurentian opened the game scoring on a two-handed dunk in the half court set.
St FX ran out to a 26-25 lead after the first quarter behind strong play from Tyrell Vernon and Will Donkoh who Laurentian cold not contain off the dribble.
The entire first half was owned by Laurentian’s Alex Ratte who cut and moved through the St FX D for open layups and jumpers that led to a 21 point first half on 9/13 shooting. X managed to hold a slim lead at the half 43-41 behind a very balanced scoring attack that Will Donkoh led with 10.
Ratte picked up where he left off in the first but unfortunately went down with an injury mid-way through the third. Laurentian who was down by three at this point seemed to rally behind the injury and took control of the game and opened up a 10 point lead with four minutes remaining behind good ball movement that started with Manny Pasquale and usually Georges Seresse.
X looked to establish that size dominance in the second half as they routinely dumped the ball in low to 6-10 Rodigo Madera who dropped 13 in the second half and 19 for the game.
Down the stretch, bad turnovers hurt Laurentian and St FX made a solid late game run with Will Donkoh making a pull up to tie the game at 78 with 23.2 seconds remaining. Laurentian failed to get a good shot…off to Ovetime.
In OT, X opened up a nine point edge and held Laurentian scoreless for the first four minutes behind Shane Coupland’s solid offensive play. With Jordan Clarke and Will Donkoh locking up Laurentian’s guards so effectively it looked like this one was over. Then Laurentian dropped 3 threes in 30 seconds and tied the game. And then the fantastic finish as Jeremy Dunn took his defender to the left from above the left elbow and banked in a tough fall away as he hit the floor for the 89-87 St FX win.
St Francis Xavier X-Men
- Rodrigo Madera 19pts, 10rebs
- Jordan Clarke 17pts, 6rebs
- Tyrell Vernon 16pts, 4asts
- Alex Ratte 28pts
- Georges Serresse 27pts, 5 rebs
- Nelson Yengue 10pts
Dalhousie University vs Algoma University
In the third game of the day the Dal Tigers, tournament host, took on CCAA and soon to be CIS Algoma. I only got to catch half of the first quarter but Dalhousie jumped out to an early 7-2 lead and built an early 10 point edge. Simon Marr of Dalhousie got off to a strong start with 6 early points and looked to be a tough matchup for the Thunderbirds.
It is my understanding that Algoma battled throughout and kept the game competitive while making a late run. However the Tigers held off the Thunderbirds for a 82-69 win.
* Stats not Available *
Acadia University vs Laval Rouge Et Or
In the last game of the day the fans of the Rod Shoveller required some patience as the Axemen and the Rouge Et Or banged it out and got rid of the “Turkey Legs”. The teams combined for 17/55 shooting performance in the first half. Owen Klassen led the Axemen as he scored and distributed the ball from the high post area to a 29-20 halftime edge.
Both teams struggled to get any offensive flow through the third quarter as there was never more than three consecutive fluent possessions combined as Laval paraded to the foul line. These trips kept the Rouge et Or within striking distance but they never could break the six point bulge that seemed in surmountable on this night.
Acadia started to get some offensive rhytm at the end of the third quarter as Anthony Ashe connected on a long three and a nice pull up to hold a late quarter run for Laval and give Acadia a 47-37 lead.
With six minutes and change left in the fourth quarter Acadia’s Jonathan Tull and Owen Klassen went down with injuries on the same play but in two separate situations with Laval cutting the margin to six again. The Axemen didn’t give Laval a chance to believe they had a chance due to 2 key players being out as they notched up the D. Tyler Scott of Acadia became the guy on offense and opened up the game with strong support from Brad States and Anthony Ashe and cruised to a 68-51 win.
* STATS NOT AVAILABLE *
Day 2 Games
1:00pm Laurentian vs Cape Breton
3:00pm Laval vs Algoma
6:00pm Semi Final #1 Saint Mary’s vs St FX
8:00pm Semi Final #2 Dalhousie vs Acadia