AUS: Tigers vault into first place, SMU takes 6th

Dalhousie 83, Memorial 78… Tigers came out on fire from 3 point land, knocking down 8 of their first 12 3’s led by 6’6″ Sven Stammberger (18 points, 6 rebounds; 4 of 9 3’s) and 5’11” Ritchie Kanza-Mata (23 points, 11 rebounds, 8 assists), who is quickly playing his way, at both ends, into a First Team all-AUS guard.   But 6’9″ Vasilije Curcic had a big second half and a skew foul count (20-7 Dal fouls with under 2 minutes left) helped the host Seahawks come back on the foul line.  But Kanza-Mata made some plays down the stretch and 6’3″ Jarred Reid came off the bench to knock down 4 of 5 3’s – part of a 12 for 25 effort by the Tigers as a team and Dal extended their hold on first place with a win in St. John’s.  The two teams meet this afternoon again.

Acadia 87, Cape Breton 79… Axemen scored the first 9 points in overtime after coming back from a first-half double digit deficit to defeat CBU 87-79, keeping alive Acadia’s hopes of a first-round bye in the AUS tournament.  The return of 6’5″ Kyle Arsenault has been key for Acadia as the smooth-shooting wing had 12 of his 24 in the fourth quarter and OT after CBU rallied to send the game into an extra session.  The see-saw affair saw Axemen hold Cape Breton to just 3 third quarter points before Acadia ran away in the OT when 6’3″ Ben Miller had 7 of his 12 points as the high-quality guard shook off what was a mediocre shooting weekend.

Saint Mary’s 86, UNB 77… Despite another 31 points from 6’1″ Javon Masters, the Huskies improved their playoff chances, vaulting into 6th place in the AUS with a gritty win over UNB to split the weekend series.  A pair of free throws from Masters got the game back to within 3 at 76-73 with just 3 minutes remaining but 6’5″ Theon Reefer (23 points) ignited an 8-2 run for Saint Mary’s to seal it.  Huskies won despite going just 7 for 12 from the foul line down the stretch.  6’3″ Brian Rouse had 26 points while 6’7″ Osman Barrie grabbed 16 rebounds as part of a double-double.  SMU again played without spark-plug 6’1″ point guard Marquis Clayton.  Saint Mary’s has an important 4 point game this coming Tuesday night in Antigonish against the suddenly-resurgent St. FX X-Men, who swept second place UPEI Panthers this weekend.

Here is the AUS standings and playoff possibilities summary:

Plenty of points remain available given the absolute plethora of 4 point games remaining on the schedule across all 8 teams.  Of the 16 remaining games into the end of the AUS regular season, 14 are four-point games.  So, much can change, although it is fair to say that X has very little margin for error, having to leap-frog both Saint Mary’s and Memorial to reach the tournament.

AUS Standings: (does not include today’s Dalhousie at Memorial game)

Dalhousie 11-4, 30 pts. 16 pts. left:  at Mun, CBU (4), at SMU (4), UPEI (4), at CBU (4)

UPEI 10-6, 26 pts. 16 pts. left: MUN 2x(4), at Dal (4), at UNB (4)

Acadia 10-6, 24 pts. 16 pts left: at SMU (4), UNB (4), SMU (4) at UNB (4)

UNB 9-7, 24 pts. 16 pts left:  X (4), at Aca (4), PEI (4), ACA (4)

Cape Breton 7-8, 18 pts. 18 pts left: at Dal (4), at SMU (4), at X, DAL (4), SMU (4)

Saint Mary’s 6-8, 14 pts. 22 pts. left:  at X (4), ACA (4), CBU (4), DAL, at Aca (4), at CBU (4)

Memorial 5-10, 12 pts. 18 pts. left: DAL, at UPEI 2 x (4), X 2 x (4)

St. FX 3-12, 6 pts. 18 pts. left:  SMU (4), at UNB (4), CBU, at MUN 2 x (4).



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