This week’s flashback Friday goes to the 2015-16 AUS championship winning men’s basketball team. Front Row (L-R): Samantha Horner (trainer), Adam Karmali, Michael Fraser, Ritchie Kanza Mata, Jordan Aquino-Serjue, Jarred Reid, Emily Newton (student manager), Amanda Higgins (student manager).
Middle Row (L-R): Rick Plato (head coach), Anton Berry (assistant coach), Zac Cote, Matt McVeigh, Cedric Sanogo, Sean Dodds, Kashrell Lawrence, Chad Wadden (assistant coach), Yasmine Mucher (trainer), Andrea Plato (manager).
Back Row (L-R): D’mitri Williams (trainer), Alex Petronis, Sven Stammberger, Ross Crichton, Sascha Kappos, Kevin Duong, Will Yengue, Steven Kirk (trainer).
The Tigers 2015-16 season was historic for the men’s basketball team. They won back-to-back AUS conference championships titles and made it to the national semi-finals, two feats a Tigers men’s basketball team has never done.
The Tigers would finish the regular season with a record of 13-7. With a quarter final bye the AUS tournament, the Tigers defeated the Saint Mary’s Huskies 75-74. In the conference championships final, Dalhousie would face off against the UPEI Panthers. The Tigers found themselves in a hole early as they faced a 16-point deficit in the first quarter. They Tigers clawed away at the lead and found themselves down 37-26 at the half. AUS first team all-star Ritchie Kanza Mata scored 19 points in the second half to lead the charge for the Tigers after the break. Still trailing in the fourth quarter, AUS rookie of the year Jordan Aquino-Serjue scored a game-tying baseline jumper with just 25 seconds remaining in the game. The Tigers would take the lead and hold off the Panthers to claim their fourth AUS championships since 2009.
The Tigers faced the number three-seeded Ottawa Gee-Gees in the quarter final round of the CIS Championships. The Tigers stalwart defence forced 24 turnovers, helping them to a 87-83 victory. Kanza Nata scored 24 points in the outing, securing them a trip to the national semi-final for the first time in Dalhousie history. The Tigers would go on to drop the semi-final matchup against the five-time defending champion Carleton Ravens by a score of 76-66 and finish the CIS championships in fourth place.
The 2016-17 team looks to repeat as AUS Champions for the third year in a row. The Tigers are entering the 2016-17 AUS men’s basketball championships with the number one overall seed, earning a quarter final bye. The Tigers play in the AUS championships semi-final Saturday, March, 4 at 6:30.