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Tigers move on to semifinals

Photo by Nick Pearce
Photo by Nick Pearce

(HALIFAX, N.S.) - The fifth-seeded Dalhousie Tigers knocked off the fourth-seeded Cape Breton Capers 62-60 in the first of two quarterfinal matchups in the Subway AUS Men's Basketball Championship on Friday evening at Scotiabank Centre.

The Tigers' win came thanks to a clutch buzzer-beating jumper by AUS first team all-star Kashrell Lawrence.

Lawrence stuffed the stat sheet with a game-high 23 points, eight rebounds, four steals, an assist and a block for the Tigers.

It was a tough opening quarter for Dalhousie as Cape Breton held the Tigers to just six points on 3-for-18 shooting.

The Capers led 13-6 after the first 10 minutes.

Lawrence found his range in the second quarter for Dalhousie, scoring nine points on 4-for-7 shooting and leading the Tigers to 20 points in the frame.

AUS first team all-star Meshack Lufile was Cape Breton's strongest defender making his presence felt in the paint and altering and blocking shots when Dalhousie brought it inside.

The Capers were the more aggressive team on offence in the first half, making their way to the free throw line and picking up some easy buckets in the paint.

At the end of the first half, Cape Breton led 30-26.

AUS defensive player of the year Ritchie Kanza Mata was frustrating Cape Breton ball handlers, forcing turnovers which led to transition points for the Tigers.

Dalhousie was able to keep themselves in the game with their tough defence, scoring fast-break points off Cape Breton turnovers.

The Capers led heading into the final 10 minutes by a score of 45-41.

Lufile opened the fourth quarter with two emphatic blocks but Dalhousie kept attacking with Cedric Sanogo scoring five points early in the frame.

Jarred Reid, under pressure with the shot clocking winding down, was able to drill a mid-range jumper with 23.6 seconds left in the game to tie the score at 60 apiece.

Cape Breton committed 22 turnovers in the game but none was more crucial than the pass that Sven Stammberger intercepted following Reid's basket.

The Tigers worked the ball around the three-point line until it ended up in the hands of Kashrell Lawrence who rose up and buried the game-winner as the clock expired.

Lawrence was named Subway AUS player of the game for the Tigers.

Subway player of the game for the Capers went to Meshack Lufile who posted 15 points, six rebounds and four blocks.

Dalhousie moves on to play AUS most valuable player, Javon Masters and the top-ranked UNB Varsity Reds in Saturday's first men's semifinal matchup at 6 p.m. at the Scotiabank Centre.