Much has been made of the strong start to the regular season by AUS defending tournament champions Dalhousie Tigers and deservedly so given the dominating fashion in which the Tigers rolled out of the gate at 4-0. But Dal was brought back to the pack quickly after a 77-58 dismantling by host Saint Mary’s Huskies in the first installment of the Halifax cross-town battle. Huskies athleticism created 22 Tiger turnovers and several run-outs as SMU shot 54% from the floor – off-setting a 4 for 17 effort from 3 and a 7 for 15 free throw performance.
After a tight first half in which Saint Mary’s started to pull away late, the Huskies used a 15-4 run to end the third quarter, holding Dal to just 2 for 12 shooting and 5 turnovers to take command. Later, another 11-2 run helped Saint Mary’s build leads as large as 22. Dal was just 3 for 12 from downtown all evening.
Both teams were missing key rotation players as 6’8″ Osman Barrie and 6’4″ Ryan Augustine did not play for SMU while 6’6″ William Yengue missed the game for Dal after injuring what appeared to be his ankle on the weekend against Memorial.
Saint Mary’s rode their five starters for much of the game and each scored in double figures. SMU’s 6’1″ freshman guard Will Fiander, a Halifax native, had a nice 9 point effort adding 4 assists and 4 steals.
Saint Mary’s is off until next Friday night when they travel to UNB for a pair of games while Tigers travel to Wolfville on Saturday for a 4 point game against Acadia.
The Axemen gave up a double digit lead to lose by 1 at home to ST. FX last night in a game that could have playoff implications down the road. It was the first regular season win for the X-Men after 4 losses. X got 23 points (on 10-13 shooting) from 6’8″ Kevin Bercy and a 4 for 4 effort from downtown from Davonte Provo – in all X shot 9 for 18 from downtown, offsetting a tough 8 for 17 (47%) effort from the foul line. Acadia stayed in the game on scorching 14 for 27 shooting from 3 including a 6 for 10 effort from Nick DePalma. X is off until next Saturday when they host Dalhousie in Antigonish.