Back-to-back games at the Dalplex over the weekend were vital for both the Dalhousie Tigers and the visiting UPEI Panthers. Locked in a tight Atlantic University Sport (AUS) playoff race, the teams split the weekend series.
The Tigers opened strong, winning the first game on Friday, Jan. 31 by a score of 65-58. Guard Courtney Thompson led the team with 23 points, continuing her hot streak after a season-high 25-point outing against Cape Breton.
Despite having the home crowd behind them and beating the Panthers the night before, the Dalhousie Tigers were unable to extend their winning streak to three, losing to the Panthers Saturday afternoon 76-70.
Saturday’s matinee started off physical and much to the chagrin of the Tigers’ coaching staff and fans, the referee’s calls seemed to go against Dalhousie. However, the Tigers maintained their composure and ended the quarter tied at 18. The score remained close for the second quarter before Darcy Zinck of the Panthers scored a three-point basket at the buzzer to give the Panthers a 33-28 halftime lead.
The game remained physical in the third and Tigers’ head coach Anna Stammberger was vocal in her displeasure with the officials.
“The referring was not good, let’s say that,” she said after the game. “Very inconsistent and hurtful.”
Starting the fourth quarter down by seven, the Tigers rallied valiantly to get ahead 59-58. The Panthers responded in turn, retaking the lead with four minutes left and holding on for the 76-70 win.
Thompson, who led the team in points for the third straight game, believes the team needs to work on their defense. “Offensively we are fine, we scored 70, that should have been enough to win,” says the guard.
Stammberger believes there was not much between the two teams, but that UPEI wanted it more on Saturday.
“They were hungrier and got after the ball better than we did,” she says.
Entering the final quarter of the season, the Tigers will next play the Memorial Seahawks Feb. 8-9 at the Dalplex.