Tigers three-peat as AUS men’s basketball champions with 63-60 come-from-behind victory over Huskies

Photo by Nick Pearce
Photo by Nick Pearce

(HALIFAX, N.S.) – The Dalhousie Tigers and the Saint Mary's Huskies faced off in the men's championship game of the Subway AUS Basketball Championships Sunday at the Scotiabank Centre in Halifax, N.S.

The Tigers earned a 63-60 win to earn the 2017 AUS conference title.

Sven Stammberger (Halifax, N.S.) led the Tigers in points with 21, adding one assist, two steals, one block, and going 5-9 from the three-point line.

The Tigers struggled to get on the board early in the opening quarter, with the Huskies taking off to an early 8-0 lead just two minutes into the first.

Saint Mary's held their lead after 10 minutes of play, to enter the second frame with a 19-14 edge.

AUS first team all-star Marquis Clayton (Halifax, N.S.) led the Huskies in the first with seven points, while Stammberger shot 2-2 at the three-point line to rack up eight points for the Tigers.

The Huskies extended their lead throughout the second quarter, as a buzzer beater three-pointer from Clayton allowed the Huskies to take a 39-29 lead at the halfway mark.

The Tigers began to mount their comeback in the third quarter. A steal from Ritchie Kanza Mata (Toronto, Ont.) at the halfway point of the third quarter allowed him to go to the basket for a layup, tying the game at 39-39.

Twenty seconds later, a Stammberger three-pointer and layup from Ryall Stroud (Toronto, Ont.) gave the Tigers a 47-42 edge, their first lead of the game. Dalhousie outscored Saint Mary's 20-6 in the third to hold a 49-45 edge heading into the final 10 minutes of regulation.

The fourth quarter saw back-and-forth action, with the Huskies looking to regain their lead. A massive dunk followed by a layup from Theon Reefer (Toronto, Ont.) cut the Tigers lead to 62-60 with just 38 seconds remaining in the frame.

But it wouldn't be enough. A made free throw by Jordan Aquino-Serjue (Montreal, Que.) made the score 63-60 as the Tigers held on for the championship win.

The Subway Player of the Game was awarded to Dalhousie's Stammberger, while Brian Rouse (Mississauga, Ont.) earned the honour for Saint Mary's. Rouse recorded 18 points, adding four rebounds, one assist and one steal.

AUS Defensive Player of the Year and first team all-star Kanza Mata earned the Wilson's Security Defensive Player of the Game award for the Tigers, while Clayton earned the honour for the Huskies.

Kanza Mata posted 19 points for Dalhousie, adding five rebounds, five assists, and five steals. Clayton recorded 16 points for Saint Mary's, along with one rebound, two assists, three steals, and one block.

Kanza Mata was named the championship MVP.

The tournament all-star team was made up of Tigers Stammberger, Kanza Mata and AUS first team all-star Kashrell Lawrence (Brampton, Ont.), along with Saint Mary's Clayton and Rouse.

Both the Huskies and the Tigers now advance to the Arcelormittal Dofasco U Sports Final 8 national championship being held March 9-12—also at Scotiabank Centre in Halifax, N.S.

For more information on the national championship, visit final8.ca.

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