(Halifax, NS) - In the first matchup of the 26th annual Shoveller Memorial Invitational Basketball Tournament, the Saint Mary's Huskies faced off against the Concordia Stingers at the Dalplex. It took extra time to do it, but the Huskies were able to get the important first victory by a score of 82-75.
It was a slow start for both sides in this one as turnovers were an issue early. Korderio James (Woodbridge, ON) got the Huskies going midway through the first quarter with aggressive drives to the hoop resulting in trips to the line.
Bench points were huge for Concordia in the first half as their bench outscored the Huskies bench 25-5 in the first half, led by Adrian Armstrong (London, ON) with 10.
Rebounds kept the Huskies in the game, as their nine offensive rebounds in the first half led to seven second chance points. The Stingers bench scoring was enough to give them a 37-32 lead heading into halftime.
Concordia came out with tough defence to start the second half, with steals and a big block from Matthis Guerut (Paris, FR) led to points at the other end in transition as the Stingers extended their lead out of the break to 11.
Brent Martindale (Kingston, ON) almost singlehandedly brought the Huskies back into the game hitting three-straight from beyond the arc to give Saint Mary's the lead late in the third. Concordia was able to hit back-to-back 3's of their own from Armstrong and Cedrick Coriolan (Laval, QC) put them back on top 56-50 heading into the 4th.
The Huskies came out hot in the first few minutes of the final quarter as Nikita Kasongo (Montreal, QC) and Kemar Alleyne (Scarborough, ON) combined for eight points to put Saint Mary's on top once again.
The game remained close late in the fourth quarter, as the lead changed hands with nearly every possession.
With 30 seconds left, Kasongo nailed a tough shot from deep to tie up the game. Concordia came back down the floor and took one of their own, but the rebound ended up out of bounds and the final possession was awarded to Saint Mary's with 10 seconds left. The Huskies could find a basket in the final seconds as they turned it over, and the game headed to overtime.
Martindale took over once again when the overtime period started, knocking down a long 2, followed by a spot-up shot from deep to put the Huskies in front. Concordia couldn't find an answer as Kasongo knocked down a dagger shot in the lane to put the Huskies up 7 with one minute to go.
That is the way this one ended as the Huskies shut out the Stingers in the overtime period and took the 82-75 victory.
Matthis Guerut earned the player of the game honour for Concordia for his eight points and 12 rebounds. For the Huskies, Brent Martindale was named the player of the game, taking over in the extra frame and finishing with 18 points (4-4 3pt) and eight rebounds.
On Day two, the Huskies face StFX Saturday at 6 p.m.