Thursday, 8 March 2007

AUS Tournament Day One Results

ST.MARY'S 67, UPEI 64 6'5" Ike Uchegbu (pictured) had a career-high 27 points on 12-17 shooting, including 15 in the second half to lead the Huskies to a quarter-final win in the opening game of the AUS tournament in Halifax at the Metro Center. Uchegbu added 11 rebounds in a dominating performance and his lay-up off a feed from Mark Ross gave the Huskies an 8 point lead with 1:35 remaining and put the cap on the win. 6'2" Mark McLaughlin added 23 for St. Mary's including a perfect 11 for 11 from the line, 6 of which came in the last 30 seconds when the Panthers fouled at every turn. The Panthers blasted out of the gate in the first half to lead 8-0 and 11-2 as 6'9" Doug McKinney, playing what turned out to be the last game of his university career, had 9 early points on 4-4 shooting and with UPEI dominating the glass, shooting 60% from the floor and Huskies 6'6" Clint Bateman saddled with 2 fouls in the first 3 1/2 minutes, things appear bleak for St. Mary's. When 6'5" Sherone Edwards finished a layup off a McKinney feed, the Panthers were in control at 23-13 with 8:18 remaining in the half. But on the next possession, Edwards, who finished with 14 points on only 6-19 shooting, 10 rebounds and 6 turnovers in his last university game, committed his second foul and went to the sidelines for the remainder of the half. Without Edwards, the Huskies were able to key on McKinney forcing the Panthers to look for offense elsewhere and UPEI went about 4 minutes without scoring. Meanwhile, McLaughlin caught fire, leading a 19-4 St.Mary's run to finish the half, during which he had 9 points and Uchegbu established himself inside as SMU rushed to a 32-27 lead at the intermission with all the momentum. The Huskies quickly scored the first 4 points of the second half and after an Uchegbu conventional three-point play for his 23rd point of the night, took their largest lead at 49-38 with 12:19 to go. But Edwards wasn't finished yet, leading a 10-3 Panther run to cut it to 4 on 3 occasions. But 6'3" Cordell Wright scored while being fouled by Edwards and the Panthers turned the ball over twice to set up Uchegbu's final points and an insurmountable 8 point lead with 1 1/2 minutes to play. St. Mary's won despite being outrebounded 45-29 including giving up 19 offensive rebounds but 18 turnovers and only 8 trips to the line helped undue the Panthers. Peter Stay, another fifth-year senior playing his final game as a Panther added 10 points, 12 rebounds for UPEI as all 3 seniors had a double double albeit in a losing cause. St. Mary's will meet top-seeded Cape Breton in one of two Friday night semi-finals. BOX SCORE

SECOND GAME: ACADIA 77, DALHOUSIE 66 AUS MVP Paolo Santana's only 3 pointer of the game with 3:15 to play broke a 62-62 tie, starting a game-deciding 8-0 run over a 2 minute, 20 second span that propelled #3 seed Axemen to a tight victory against the well-prepared Tigers. The Tigers stayed with Acadia until Santana (17 points, 8 rebounds, 1-6 3's) got free and then Dal had a series of turnovers in key situations allowing Acadia to advance to tomorrow night's semi-finals where they will meet #2 seed St. FX. Jordan Sheriko made 4 of 5 three pointers and finished with a team-high 18 points for Acadia while 6'5" sixth-man Sean Berry added 13 points/8 rebounds and Luckern Dieu added 13 points/9 rebounds. Dal continually fought back from deficits when Acadia could have pulled away. With the Axemen up 6 at 40-34, Dal point guard Andrew Sullivan (6 points, 10 assists) knocked in a three and then followed with a steal that led to a pair of Monte Francois free throws that got the Tigers back to within one. Sullivan later fed 6'5" Germain Bendegue (game-high 24 points on 10-18 shooting and 7 rebounds) for a slam to tie the game at 46 with 11:23 to play in the second half. The Axemen later led 62-56 but the pesky Tigers fought back on a 6-0 run culminated in back-to-back lay-ins by Bendegue to re-tie the game at 62, setting up Santana's three to spark Acadia's late rally for the win. Once again, Dal had a rough start, going only 2 for their first 13 but on the heels of a 7-0 run, primarily off the offensive glass (7 early "o" boards), the Tigers led 13-12 after the game's first 10 minutes. But 6'5" Sean Berry came off the bench to lead an Axemen run that put them into a 34-32 halftime lead. The Tigers shot 8-16 after their poor start to stay within striking distance. Ryan DeWinter had 15 for Dal while fifth-year senior Francois ended his career with an 11 point/6 rebound effort. After a tough start on the glass, Acadia outrebounded Dal 40-29 to move within one game of qualifying for the CIS Final 8 after last season's two-victory campaign. BOX SCORE

Tomorrow's semi-final games (winners automatically qualify for CIS Final Eight)

6 PM Atlantic/5 PM Eastern #1 Cape Breton vs. #5 St. Mary's
8 PM Atlantic/7 PM Eastern #2 St. Francis Xavier vs. #3 Acadia

Catch the X vs. Acadia game on LIVE! webcast via the Streaming Sports Network ST.FX VS. ACADIA WEBCAST

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