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Dal basketball demolishes Guelph

By Natasha White, Basketball Writer

 

It looked like it was going to be another tight match-up for John Campbell and the Tigers as they took on the visiting Guelph Gryphons last weekend. Gryphon guards Michael Petrella and George Mason led the first quarter charge, taking advantage of Dal’s early disorganized defence. Successful penetration by Petrella and a couple nothing-but-net threes from Mason had Guelph leading 19–18 after ten.

The second quarter however was a different story. The Tigers outscored Guelph a whopping 29 to 8. Any momentum Guelph gained in the first disappeared quickly as Tiger front man Simon Farine caught fire. Determined not to have a repeat of the previous evening’s poor performance, Farine put up big numbers versus Guelph in the first half. Farine six for eight from the floor, drained two threes, and was hot from the line, hitting four for four.

After a slow preseason start, Farine turned up the heat just in time for next week’s regular season start Nov. 9. After all was said and done, Farine dropped 31 points and earned player of the game as Dal destroyed Guelph 86–62.

After the game Farine was pleased with his team’s effort, but  remained focused on continued improvement.

“We need to keep working on the simple things, keep working together.”

When asked what went wrong the night before in their 72–69 loss to Ottawa Farine was frank: “They came out with more intensity then us. We have nine days until regular season starts, we need to work hard on our defense.”

If not for some dismal shooting (32 per cent from the floor) the Gryphons could have made a game of it. Guelph out-rebounded Dal on the offensive boards, 16–12. Unfortunately for the Gryphons the put-backs weren’t dropping. Guelph’s poor execution led to some frustrated Gryphons; both Petrella and head coach Chris O’Rourke picked up technicals after uttering some colourful language directed at the referees.

A 20-point lead going in to the second half allowed Dal’s starters to sit, giving the bench some quality minutes. Rob Nortman continued to impress with aggressive play. Centre Joe Schow took a tumble and retweeked a sensitive ankle in the third, putting Tim Coote on the floor. Coote would add five to the Tiger total.

The dominating victory for Dal should give the Tigers confidence as the real tests begin in AUS conference play. Campbell has a few key areas to tackle if the Tigers are going to be contenders again this season. Tightening up on the boards is a must. Inconsistent boxing-out will cost the Tigers games against conference teams with solid bigs. Screens need to make solid contact with opposing players, every time. And most importantly, the help defense has to come together. There is such thing as too much help; leaving the wings wide open is not an option.

The Tiger’s first regular season game is Tuesday night against Acadia at 6 p.m. in the Dalplex.

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