(HALIFAX, N.S.) – The top-seeded Dalhousie Tigers earned a spot in the Subway AUS Men's Basketball Championship final after taking down the Saint Mary's Huskies 75-74 in the first of two semifinals held at the Scotiabank Centre on Saturday.
After a back-and-forth start to the first quarter, the Saint Mary's Huskies sailed ahead to take a 22-16 lead heading into the second.
Osman Barrie (Ottawa, Ont.) led the Huskies in field goals after the first, sinking all five attempts. The Huskies set the tone in the first quarter with a field goal percentage of 63.
With the Tigers strong end zone defence, they were able to keep the Huskies lead to a minimum throughout the second quarter, trailing 37-32 at the half.
Dalhousie's Kashrell Lawrence (Brampton, Ont.) led the Tigers after the first half, scoring 15 points and adding five rebounds, helping his team close the gap.
Throughout the third Sven Stammberger (Halifax, N.S) of the Tigers became a force under the net, with nine rebounds and adding 13 points.
The Tigers closed the gap to finish the third frame, tying the game at 54-54.
Dalhousie started the final frame with a full court press, keeping the pressure on the Huskies. This lead to a quick turn over and easy basket to distance themselves from the Huskies.
The final minutes of the fourth saw back-and-forth scoring from both sides of the court, with the Tigers still holding the edge.
Theon Reefer's (Toronto, Ont.) clutch three pointer for the Huskies with under a minute remaining brought the score to within one, 73-72.
Fouled with seconds left on the clock, Dalhousie's Ritchie Kanza Mata (Toronto, Ont.) sunk both his free throws to widen the Tigers' lead to three points.
Kemar Alleyne (Scarborough, Ont.) was then sent to the line with shots of his own, sinking the first and missing the second.
Reefer was then fouled in the final moment of regulation and sent to the line to shoot two, with no time remaining on the clock. Missing his first attempt and making his second, the Huskies were unable to force overtime and the Tigers came away with the 75-74 win.
Kashrell Lawrence finished the night with a game-high 31 points, adding six rebounds to earn Subway player of the game honours for the Tigers.
The Subway player of the game for the Huskies was Osman Barrie (Ottawa, Ont.), who finished the game with 19 points and 13 rebounds.
The AUS defending champion Tigers will now move on to the Subway AUS Men's Basketball Championship final, where they will face off against the UPEI Panthers. The championship game will take place on Sunday at 4:30 p.m. at the Scotiabank Centre in Halifax, N.S.