HALIFAX – Team captain Vincent Dufort of Smiths Falls, Ont., scored 18 points and grabbed nine rebounds as McGill defeated the Acadia Axemen 84-73 in the opening round of the Rod Shoveller Memorial men’s basketball tournament at the Dalplex sports centre, Friday.
McGill led 19-11 after the opening quarter, 47-34 at the half and 63-47 after three. The Redmen actually led by as much as 19 points early in the third quarter but Acadia’s Sean Stoqua‘s jumper with 6:39 left in the fourth cut the lead to single digits. Stoqua then trimmed the gap to just three points when he nailed a triple with 5:42 left to make it 70-67, but that’s as close as they got. Both teams posted similiar and collected 38 rebounds apiece but McGill had a 17-10 advantage in turnovers, which translated to a meaty 23-8 difference on the scoreboard. The Redmen bench also outscored Acadia’s subs by an impressive 37-22 advantage.
“Acadia made a run and narrowed the gap to three but we hit a couple of shots and switched to a zone defence which settled us down and we bounced back,” said McGill head David DeAveiro, whose troops managed to get four pre-tourney practice sessions under their belt before resuming play after a month-long break for exams and holidays. “We’re trying a few different things and a few different wrinkles in terms of preparing to resume conference play next week. It was a good start to the weekend for us but we know that we’ll have our hands full when playing the host team (Dalhousie) in the semifinal round.”
Dufort, who was named player of the game, shot 5-for-7 from the floor and 6-for-8 from the foul-line. He was also credited with five assists and a pair of steals before fouling out.
“Vince was outstanding,” said DeAveiro of his team captain. “He did a little bit of everything, scoring a lot of points, pulling down a bunch of rebounds and getting all those assists. He was very good today.”
Teammate Noah Daoust came off the bench to tally 18 points in 21 minutes of court time. The freshman from Dorval, Que.,was 6-for-12 shooting – including a 3-for-5 effort from three-point range – and made all three of his attempts from the line.
McGill starter Francois Bourque, a second-year forward from Terrebonne, Que., also reached double figures with a dozen points, while sophomore Dele Ogundokun of Hamilton, Ont., contributed nine points and six rebounds to the Redmen attack.
Acadia’s Sean Stoqua registered a “double-double” in a losing cause with game highs in both points (19) and rebounds (13). He was one of four Axemen to reach double digits in scoring, along with Kyle Arseneault (18), Shaquille Smith (12) and Rhys Larry (11).
The Redmen shot 46.3 per cent from the field (31/67), went 7-for-25 from the arc and dropped 15 of 22 free-throws. Acadia (0-1), which shot 43.1, 35.0 and 72.7, respectively, will face the Mount Saint Vincent Mystics (0-1) in Saturday’s consolation semifinal at 3 p.m.
McGill (1-0), which improved to 7-7 overall versus CIS opponents, will meet host Dalhousie (1-0) in a tourney semifinal on Saturday. The Tigers are 8-5 vs CIS opponents and the game will be webcast live on AUStv.ca (8 p.m. Atlantic).
2015 Rod Shoveller Tournament Schedule & Results
Friday, January 2
|Game 1||1:00pm||Ottawa 115, Saint Mary’s 72||Webcast|
|Game 2||3:00pm||StFX 84 vs UPEI 82||Webcast|
|Game 3||6:00pm||McGill 84, Acadia 73||Webcast|
|Game 4||8:00pm||Dalhousie 89, Mount St. Vincent 38||Webcast|
Saturday, January 3
|Game 5||1:00pm||Saint Mary’s vs. UPEI|
|Game 6||3:00pm||Acadia vs. Mount St. Vincent|
|Game 7||6:00pm||Ottawa vs. StFX||Webcast|
|Game 8||8:00pm||McGill vs. Dalhousie||Webcast|
Sunday, January 4
|Game 9||9:00am||Loser of GM5 vs. Loser of GM6|
|Game 10||11:00am||Winner of GM5 vs. Winner of GM6|
|Game 11||1:00pm||Loser of GM7 vs. Loser of GM8|
|Game 12||3:00pm||Winner of GM7 vs. Winner of GM8||Webcast|