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Dalhousie earns a CIS Final 8 berth

Tigers take out St. FX in AUS semi-final

Armaan Ahluwalia, Staff Contributor

 

A loud and packed Metro Centre was the spot for the AUS men’s basketball championship weekend.

The Dalhousie Tigers beat the St. FX X-Men by a score of 79–68 in the second semi-final of the evening. With the victory the Tigers move on to finals where they will play the Acadia Axemen. They also qualify for the CIS men’s basketball Final 8 which will also take place at the Metro Centre this weekend.

Dalhousie came into the tournament ranked second in the AUS and squared off against St. FX who were ranked third. The X-Men were coming off a victory against St. Mary’s the previous night in the AUS quarter-final. In that game Christian Upshaw dropped 43 points against a sloppy Huskies defence, and the SMU offence couldn’t keep pace with the up-tempo X-Men.

This game was different. Dalhousie managed to hold a  lead for the entire game and did not allow the X-Men to tie or take the lead following the first basket. The Tigers jumped out in the first quarter giving the X-Men all that they could handle.

From the start the Tigers were controlling the pace and staying out of foul trouble. The Tigers were able to get consistency from their key players, and Simon Farine played the whole game and played exceptional. The fifth-year Tiger finished the night with 22 points, 8 rebounds, 7 assists and 2 steals. His solid defence helped shut down Upshaw who was held to 10 points the entire game.

Fouls really started to cause the X-Men troubles just before the half. All-star Christian Upshaw had to sit on the bench because of two quick fouls. The Tigers took advantage of this and slowly increased the lead to 38 – 27 before half-time.

The X-Men were not going away easily. They battled hard and kept coming at Dalhousie. At one point in the third quarter the Tigers had built the lead to 20 points. The X-Men managed to slowly wear it down to 10. Unfortunately the Tigers kept matching each basket with one of their own.

Another negative for the X-Men was that they were not shooting well from behind the three point line. They went eight for 29 in the game and that is too low of a number to remain competitive. The Tigers weren’t much better, though, going an abysmal two for 10.

The Tigers were able to involve their bench in the game as playing time was spread throughout the players. Joseph Schow came up huge in scoring 23 points, while also grabbing 15 rebounds, seven of them offensive, and two blocks. His intensity was high throughout the game and it translated to the team who looked like they wanted the win more than the X-Men.

Sandy Veit had a big game scoring 13 points and grabbing 13 rebounds. The lone bright spot for the X-Men was Will Silver, who managed 20 points and looked good on defence. Dalhousie now go on to play an Acadia team which is starting to build some momentum in the tournament. After knocking off number one seeded Cape Breton in a semi-final upset, the Axemen will feel like they can do anything now. The key for Dal will be to try and stop Owen Klassen, Justin Boutlier, Anthony Sears and Tyler Lutton who were huge against CBU.

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