U SPORTS Communications
HALIFAX – It came down to the wire, but the Dalhousie Tigers were able to pull out a two-point victory, 67-65 over the Alberta Golden Bears on Thursday night in the quarter-finals of the 2017 ArcelorMittal Dofasco U SPORTS Men's Final 8.
With the game on the line, the Tigers put the ball in the hands of their dynamic forward Kashrell Lawrence, and he didn't disappoint, sinking a layup amidst traffic with 1.4 seconds left to go. Dalhousie would then force a turnover on the ensuing inbound from Alberta to seal the win.
Lawrence finished with a double-double (28 points and 10 rebounds) in the win, while forward Mamadou Gueye had 18 points in the loss.
Both team's shooters got off to a hot start in the opening 10 minutes. Guard Lyndon Annetts netted a team-leading eight points on 3-of-3 shooting from the field, while Dalhousie guard Ritchie Kanza Mata went 2-for-3 with six points.
Alberta had the stronger shooting performance as a team however, going 42.1 per cent from the field, while the Tigers shot just 28.6 per cent. Seven players scored for the Golden Bears, who led 20-15 after one.
Dalhousie came out strong defensively in the second quarter, forcing three-straight turnovers, while going on an 11-0 run in the opening four minutes.
"I push these guys, they're used to it and really in all the close games, it's really been our trademark," said Dalhousie head coach Rick Plato of his team's defensive performance.
Lawrence was the catalyst on the other end, turning two fast break opportunities into points. He would lead all scorers for the Tigers with 14 points – 10 of which came in the second quarter as the Tigers led by two at halftime.
Gueye came out hot in the third quarter, after being shut down in the first half. He went 3-of-5 from the field for 10 points, added four rebounds and was a terror inside the paint as the Golden Bears entered the final 10 minutes up by three.
Lawrence continued to lead the way on both ends of the court for the Tigers and had a game-leading 22 points to keep his team within striking distance.
Gueye and Lawrence went back-and-forth yet again in the final quarter, as the two teams traded the lead, however it was the Tigers who would emerge victorious.
"We're obviously really disappointed," said Alberta Golden Bears head coach Barnaby Craddock. It was a tough loss and we have to own that. Credit to Dalhousie."
With the win, the Tigers advance to the semifinal on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. AT, where they will face Ryerson. The Golden Bears will battle Saint Mary's in the consolation semifinal tomorrow at 8 p.m. AT.