(HALIFAX, N.S.) Saturday's first men's semifinal matchup of the Subway AUS Men's Basketball Championship showcased an intense battle between the top-seeded Dalhousie Tigers and the No. 5-seeded StFX X-Men, which saw the X-Men come out on top with an 81-76 win.
StFX guard Justin Andrew (Hamilton, Ont.) posted a game-high 29 points, including 18 points in the third alone, and went 7-for-13 on three-point shooting. Andrew added six rebounds and three assists in the victory to earn Subway Player of the Game honours.
The first quarter saw back-and-forth play, as each team finished the quarter with 19 points apiece. Andrew led the X-Men in the first frame with eight points, while Keevan Veinot (Port Williams, N.S.) led the Tigers with nine points.
With StFX pulling slightly ahead to kick off the second quarter, a three-pointer from Dalhousie's Alex Carson (Lower Sackville, N.S.) put the Tigers ahead 26-23. Dalhousie outshot StFX 18-11 in the frame to extend their lead to 37-30 at the half.
The X-Men looked to regain their lead in the third, as a jump shot from Davonte Provo (East Preston, N.S.) allowed StFX to pull ahead 42-41 at the 6:28 mark. The X-Men then continued their run, as a deep three from Andrew pulled the X-Men ahead 47-41.
The X-Men outscored the Tigers 32-15 in the third quarter, going 12-for-17 (70.6%) from the field, to hold a 62-52 lead heading into the final 10 minutes of regulation.
Dalhousie looked for the comeback in the fourth, with a layup and free-throw from Sven Stammberger (Halifax, N.S.) pulling Dalhousie within four with just over six minutes remaining in regulation.
A three-point shot from Dalhousie's Ryan Harnett (Corner Brook, N.L.) at the 5:52 mark put the Tigers within one, until a three from StFX's Tristen Ross (Truro, N.S.) allowed StFX to regain a 71-67 lead.
A three from Carson with just 59 seconds left on the clock put Dalhousie within five, but the Tigers were unable to complete their comeback as they fell 81-76.
Kevin Bercy (Kanata, Ont.) posted 17 points in the win, adding 13 rebounds for the double-double to earn Wilson's Security Defensive Player of the Game honours. StFX's Provo finished the night with 11 points, four assists, two rebounds and one assist.
Stammberger led the Tigers in scoring with 18 points, adding seven rebounds, three assist, one steal and one block.
The X-Men now advance to the Subway AUS Men's Basketball Championship final on Sunday at 4:30 p.m. at the Scotiabank Centre. StFX will face the winner of the second semifinal between the Memorial Sea-Hawks and UNB Varsity Reds.