Capers keep Sea-Hawks from clinching first

John
John Browne
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AUS BASKETBALL Cape Breton outplays MUN in classic women's hoop battle

Cape Breton wanted it more and it showed. The visiting Capers stalled Memorial Sea-Hawks quest to clinch first place Friday night with a thrilling 73-67 victory in Atlantic universities women's basketball at the Field House.

The teams will tip off six o'clock again tonight. The result of MUN's men's game against Cape Breton was unavailable at press time.

The visiting Capers stalled Memorial Sea-Hawks quest to clinch first place Friday night with a thrilling 73-67 victory in Atlantic universities women's basketball at the Field House. Sea-Hawk Ally Forsey (15) has her shot blocked by Kelly Hodgson. - Phot

Cape Breton wanted it more and it showed. The visiting Capers stalled Memorial Sea-Hawks quest to clinch first place Friday night with a thrilling 73-67 victory in Atlantic universities women's basketball at the Field House.

The teams will tip off six o'clock again tonight. The result of MUN's men's game against Cape Breton was unavailable at press time.

The women's game had all the tension and atmosphere of a playoff match as the rivals exchanged leads several times throughout the contest. While both teams' execution left a lot to be desired at times, the entertainment value for the fans was first-rate.

The win gives CBU 44 points, two behind conference-leading Memorial. Third-place Dalhousie Tigers have 42 points with a four-point match on the road against St. Francis Xavier Sunday to finish out their schedule.

"It's a great win for us," said Capers' coach Fabian McKenzie. "The game lived up to its billing. It was a great game... back and forth. I think both teams were a little jittery. There were lots of turnovers on both sides.

"I thought we played pretty well," he added. "We did some things that we wanted to do and had some success."

McKenzie said he didn't know if his team would get a second straight win, "but we're going to battle. That's what we're here for. We're trying to get to the playoffs playing well. I'm sure it's going to be a battle tomorrow, because both teams are going to want to go at each other."

MUN left a lot of points on the foul line, shooting only 50 per cent (10-20) compared to 82.1 per cent for the Capers. It also didn't help that MUN's two post players - Ally Forsey and Ericka Gratton - ran into early foul trouble and were limited to eight and seven first-half minutes respectively.

When MUN jumped out to a seven-point lead early in the first half, McKenzie was heard to say: "Got to play tougher," which his team did when it counted.

The Capers led 42-38 after the first half, but the Sea-Hawks came out gunning to start the third quarter and went on a 7-0 run in 90 seconds to take a 45-42 lead. Brittany Dalton's three-pointer in the last 30 seconds gave MUN a 58-56 lead after the third quarter, but the Lady Hawks were not able to build on that brief momentum swing.

The game was tied 66-66 with three and a half minutes to play, but the Sea-Hawks continued to struggle with their shooting from just about everywhere on the court, allowing the Capers to pull ahead to stay around the three-minute mark.

"The finish was immaterial," said MUN coach Doug Partridge. "We didn't rebound. We didn't make free throws and we didn't take care of the ball.

"We didn't do any of the things we set out for ourselves in order to be successful. So the fact that we were still in the game on a night we didn't do any of the things we needed to do ... I suppose that's some sort of positive," the MUN coach said.

"We had a couple of people who were ill all week and chose not to play hard in the first half. They played better in the second half, but the rest of it... I can't really tell you."

Brittany Dalton was MUN's top scorer with 21 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists, but she turned over the ball nine times. Vicki Thistle scored 14 and Forsey chipped in with 10 for the Lady-Hawks who were outscored 17-9 in the fourth quarter. MUN turned the ball over 20 times compared to 14 CBU turnovers.

Soon-to-be-crowned scoring champion Kelsey Hodgson was tops for Cape Breton with 19 points and 11 rebounds. Kari Everett scored 16 and Jahlica Kirnon had 12.

CBU was runner-up to MUN in the standings last season and the Sea-Hawks went on to take a three-point win over the Capers in the championship game at Acadia University. This year the Lady Hawks won twice in Cape Breton earlier in the season.

jbrowne@thetelegram.com

Organizations: Field House, Acadia University

Geographic location: Cape Breton

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