Saturday’s second semi-final match up had the second-seeded University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds topping the sixth-seeded Memorial Sea-Hawks by a score of 96-83.
The Varsity Reds were led by AUS most valuable player, Javon Masters’ 20 points, nine assists and three steals, and AUS all-rookie team member Ibrahima Doumbouya’s 14-point and 14-rebound double-double.
Prior to the game Masters was honoured for becoming the most prolific scorer in U SPORTS history with a career total of 2,407 points in 96 career games played.
The first quarter started out tightly contested with UNB’s Jesse Kendall leading the way with six points (2-3 3FG).
Memorial kept it close with balanced scoring from their starting unit, with each starter scoring in the frame.
UNB started to pull away through the first half of the second quarter, holding a 38-25 lead with 3:35 left in the half.
At the end of the first half the Varsity Reds would hold onto an 11-point lead (46-35), outscoring the Sea-Hawks 25-16 in the second quarter.
Masters led all scorers with 11 points, playing just 11 minutes in the first half due to the strong play of the other Varsity Reds.
Memorial was led in scoring by Daniel Gordon and Davion Parnsalu, who each chipped in with eight a piece in the first half for the Sea-Hawks.
Over the third quarter UNB would push their lead to as much as 15 points but Memorial rallied thanks to the determined effort of fifth-year guard Davion Parnsalu, cutting the lead back to nine (66-57) by the end of the quarter.
The Varsity Reds, however, would use a run of their own in the fourth to take an 83-67 lead with just over four minutes remaining, their largest lead of the game.
Over the final minutes of the game both teams traded baskets but UNB would not allow the Sea-Hawks any closer than within nine points down the stretch.
The Varsity Reds now move on to play the St. Francis Xavier X-Men in Sunday’s championship game at 4:30 p.m. at the Scotiabank Centre.
F R I D A Y
Sixth-seeded Memorial Sea-Hawks pulled a hugh upset in AUS men’s basketball as they defeated the No. 3-seeded Saint Mary’s Huskies 72-70.
With just 2.6 seconds remaining in, a jump shot from Memorial’s Davion Parnsalu put the Sea-Hawks ahead, to earn the victory.
Parnsalu finished with five points on the night, adding seven rebounds, one assist, and a steal to earn Wilson’s Security Defensive Player of the Game honours.
The Sea-Hawks took off to an early lead in the first quarter, going nine for 16 from the field (56.3%) to hold on for a 20-10 edge after the first 10 minutes.
The Huskies fought back hard in the second quarter, pulling within one of the Sea-Hawks with just over three minutes remaining in the second. The Huskies outscored the Sea-Hawks 23-13 in the frame, to tie things up at 33-33 at the half.
The third saw back-and-forth play with the squads switching leads throughout the quarter. With just a few seconds remaining on the clock, a three-pointer from Daniel Gordon (North York, Ont.) allowed the Sea-Hawks to pull ahead 52-48 heading into the final 10 minutes of play.
Gordon and Nathan Barker (Massey Drive, N.L.) combined for 37 of Memorial’s 52 points throughout the first three quarters.
The Huskies pulled ahead in the fourth, but five unanswered points allowed the Sea-Hawks to tie things at 65-65 with just three minutes remaining.
An exhilarating final minute of play saw Osman Barrie (Ottawa, Ont.) put the Huskies ahead 70-68. After a back-and-forth final minute, Parnsalu sealed the deal for the Sea-Hawks to send Memorial to the semi-finals for the first time in 16 years.
Barker finished with 23 points on the night, adding 10 rebounds for the double-double to earn Subway Player of the Game honours. Memorial’s Gordon finished with a game-high 24 points, adding seven rebounds.
Barrie finished with a team-high 16 points for the Huskies in the loss, adding five rebounds, while teammates Nico Brauner (Wiesbaden, Germany) and Nikita Kasongo (Montreal, Que.) both finished with 11 points apiece.
The Sea-Hawks now move on to play the UNB Varsity Reds in Saturday evening’s second semifinal matchup at 8:30 p.m. at the Scotiabank Centre in Halifax.