AUS: Freshmen reserves lift Tigers to decisive win over UPEI

Dalhousie 94, UPEI 81  The Tigers took command of first place overall in the AUS and clinched a first round bye in the AUS tournament, showing off their quality depth as their bench – led by three freshmen: 6’4″ Alex Petronis (Etobicoke Father Redmond), 6’2″ Matt McVeigh (Halifax Sir John A. MacDonald) and 5’11” Jordan Aquino-Serjue (Montreal Dawson College) completely turned the game around mid-way through the second quarter in what turned into an easy win over the visiting Panthers.  5’11” Ritchie Kanza-Mata was key in setting the table for his array of red-hot shooters, finishing with 14 assists.

Dalhousie had numerous open looks against Panthers 1-3-1 zone but missed 9 of their first 13 looks from downtown and trailed by 12 with 5 minutes remaining in the second before Petronis and McVeigh caught fire from downtown, knocking in 3’s on three consecutive possessions.  The two reserve sharpshooters combined to go 5 for 7 from 3 in the second quarter alone and took the lead for good on a Petronis’s third 3 of the quarter to lead 39-36 with a minute and a half left and never looked back.

Kanza-Mata found gaps in the Panthers zone and kicked out to open shooters to the tune of a game-high 14 assists as Dal took their largest lead at 80-65 with 6 1/2 minutes left in the game.  McVeigh and 6’6″ Sven Stammberger, who got off to a rough start from the perimeter, ensured Panthers would not come back, combining for 19 third-quarter points.

Panthers star 6’2″ guard Tyler Scott had 20 of his game-high 28 points after halftime but Dal defended his teammates well and UPEI was rarely a threat after their strong start.  Scott added 8 rebounds and 6 assists including 6-11 from downtown.  UPEI turned it over 19 times and got only 8 points and 6 rebounds from star 6’6″ forward Bradley States who did not score in the final 25 minutes of play.

Elsewhere in Antigonish, Cape Breton came from 10 points down early in the fourth – finishing the game on a 27-8 run quarter to shock St. FX 85-78 and eliminate the X-Men from the AUS playoffs for the second consecutive season.  Freshman Jack MacAulay made all 3 of his 3’s in fourth to lead the way.  With the win Capers move closer to clinching the final playoff spot in the AUS, now leading MUN by 6 points.

AUS Standings 

** -Dalhousie 13-6, 38 pts. 1 game 4 pts. left:  at CBU (4)

y – UPEI 12-7, 34 pts. 1 game 4 pts. left: at UNB (4)

y – Acadia 11-7, 28 pts. 2 games and 8 pts left: SMU (4) at UNB (4)

y – UNB 10-8, 28 pts. 2 games and 8 pts left:  UPEI (4), ACA (4)

y – Saint Mary’s 9-9, 24 pts. 2 games & 8 pts. left:  at Aca (4), at CBU (4)

Cape Breton 8-10, 20 pts. 2 games & 8 pts left: DAL (4), SMU (4)


Memorial 6-12, 14 pts. 2 games and 8 pts. left:  X 2 x (4)

x – St. FX 4-14, 10 pts. 2 games and 12 pts. left: at MUN 2 x (4).

x = eliminated from post season

y = clinched playoff spot

** = clinched first round playoff bye


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