Natasha White, Basketball Beat Reporter
Last week’s away games against Saint Mary’s and the University of New Brunswick closed out the Tigers’ 2010 year.
The 92 – 86 loss to SMU was thanks in large part to a generous Dalhousie defence. The Tigers were giving out inches like treats on Halloween. And inches were all Joey Haywood and his Huskies needed to hit key open-look jump shots. Haywood was top-scorer in the game with 30 points. The Huskies earned their victory in the final five minutes, stealing the game from the Tigers.
Despite a 27-point effort from Tiger Simon Farine, Dalhousie couldn’t hold on. Dal was outscored by nine in the second quarter and out-played in the dying minutes. It was SMU who dictated play throughout. With scores reaching triple digits, the Tigers’ low scoring defensive-minded game plan was ineffective. The loss to their Halifax rivals should taste especially bitter to the Tigers — Dal goes down 0 – 1 in the four head-to-head matches against SMU this season
The final game of 2010 was in Fredericton where Dal faced off against the UNB Varsity Reds. The Reds are currently in a fierce four-way tie for third with St. FX, Acadia, and SMU. Each team has scrapped together six points so far. Dal, sitting alone in second with 14 points ended the year off right with a 70 – 56 win over UNB.
One third of the basketball season is over. The Tigers have earned second spot behind Cape Breton in the AUS. CBU goes into the winter break the only undefeated team in the conference with a seven and zero record. Dal flirted with 10th position nationally last week. Unfortunately, the Tigers just couldn’t seal the deal. Instead, representation of the AUS in the national top ten is solely back in the hands of St. FX, who sit in fourth place. Curiously, X lags back in sixth place in the AUS.
Come January, Dal’s defence will need to pay more respect to the pure shooters that abound in the AUS. On offence the Tigers could look to shoot more. Confidence is lacking and hesitation is creeping in. Too often it’s Farine left with seven seconds on the clock to force some magic. But, regardless of the play called, the Tigers are going to have to get some garbage second chance put-back points to come out on top.
Regular season starts up with Dal hosting first place CBU Jan 8.
Can’t wait until the eighth? Looking to enjoy three solid days of quality ball? The look no further than the men’s annual Rod Shoveller Memorial Basketball Tournament. The Tigers host top teams from across the nation Dec 31-Jan 2 at the Dalplex.