Friday, 7 March 2008

Saint Mary's stages late comeback to defeat UPEI

Saint Mary's 63, UPEI 61 6'5" Aaron Duncan converted a conventional three-point play with just under a minute remaining and the Huskies scored the final six points of the game, overcoming a late 4 point deficit to avert the upset and advance to tomorrow night's AUS semi-final against St. FX. The game was played before a very strong crowd of 5,700 at the Halifax Metro Center. The Panthers had a 4 point lead with a minute and a half remaining and were still up 2 when guard Brent MacLaren made an ill-advised pass into the mid-post to 6'3" Andrew Black, who appeared to not be expecting the look. Duncan converted the resulting turnover into the go-ahead bucket and the Huskies survived a decent look from UPEI's Jared Budd from the top of the bowl with under 10 seconds remaining and then a put back by Black that simply would not stick. 6'2" Mark McLaughlin led the way for Saint Mary's with 19 points while Duncan added a 16-point/11 rebound double double and 6'5" Ike Uchegbu had 15 points and 11 rebounds. Steady 6'1" point guard Mark Ross had his usual consistent effort with 8 points, 9 assists and only 2 turnovers and Ross handled the ball much of the time in the second half as 6'1" Shane Morrison suffered a back injury and did not play after halftime. Black led UPEI with 17 points and 15 rebounds while 6'6" freshman Manock Lual added 11 points/10 rebounds in 33 minutes but was not on the floor for the final 4 minutes or so. Both teams struggled shooting the ball from beyond the arc with the Huskies going only 2 for 14 while the Panthers made only 4 of 18 3's. Saint Mary's now resumes their long and storied rivalry with St. FX tomorrow night at 8 PM in the second game of the AUS semi-finals doubleheader while #1 ranked Acadia taking on upstart Dalhousie Tigers in the early game at 6 PM.

More to come from Chris Kallan...

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