(Halifax, NS) – Facing off in an important four-point game, the Dalhousie Tigers hosted the UPEI Panthers at the Dalplex on Friday. Playing shutdown defence and forcing turnovers in the second quarter allowed the Panthers to go on a 10-0 run and take control of the game. The Panthers walked away with the 84-69 victory.
Both teams got off to a hot start from the field, with Michele Tchiakoua (Yaounde, Cameroon) picking up seven of the Tigers first nine points in the opening minutes.
The Panthers were tough on the defensive end and forced the Tigers into turnovers that opened the floor and allowed them to make transition plays. The ball moved quickly, and they were able to spread the scoring around.
The score remained tight throughout the first quarter, with the teams trading shot for shot. At the end of the first, the Panthers held a slight edge at 26-25.
The game slowed down for both sides in the opening minutes of the second quarter, with shots not falling well for either side.
The Panthers were able to put together some tight defence midway through the quarter, shutting out the Tigers for nearly five minutes. They used that defence to put an offensive run together and create a 10-0 run to take a 40-30 lead.
Kiera Rigby (Charlottetown, PEI) was crucial to the run, picking up nine points in the quarter with six of them coming on the run.
The Tigers were only able to put up eight points in the quarter, and as a result, headed into the break trailing 46-33.
The Panthers didn't let up in the third, combining strong shooting with slashing into the key. The points inside were making the difference, as they outscored the Tigers 28-16 on points in the paint.
For the Tigers, the bench was key for keeping them in the game, combining for 24 of their points through three quarters with Diedre Alexander (Woodstock, NB) picking up the slack with 12.
Rigby continued to put on quite a performance in the third quarter, putting up 24 points through three, shooting at a high percentage from both the free throw line, and beyond the arc.
Carolina Del Santo (Barcelona, Spain) was huge on the glass for the Panthers, and was a big reason they outrebounded the Tigers, quietly picking up 17 rebounds through three quarters.
Heading into the fourth, the Panthers held a commanding 70-49 lead.
Foul trouble was an issue for the Tigers with Tchiakoua having four fouls while remaining their leading scorer with 14 points.
The Panthers continued to spread the ball around well with four of their starters in double digits, as well as shooting an impressive 92% combined from the free throw line.
The Tigers put together a small run in the quarter, and were able to outscore the Panthers 20-14 in the fourth quarter, but the lead was too much to overcome.
The Panthers walked away with the 84-69 win.
Kiera Rigby earned the Subway Player of the Game title by putting on a shooting clinic in this one. Finishing with 30 points, on 71% shooting from the field. For the Tigers Diedre Alexander finished with 17 points and five rebounds.
The Tigers will look to bounce back tomorrow when they take on UNB at home in another four-point game. The Panthers will look to keep rolling as they travel to Acadia tomorrow in a four-point game of their own.