AUS Basketball Championships: Saint Mary's moves to semis following win over UPEI

AUS Basketball Championships: Saint Mary's moves to semis following win over UPEI

Diggs, Linton-Brown lead Huskies with 22 points apiece


Quarterfinal #2 – Men
No. 6 UPEI vs No. 3 Saint Mary's


(HALIFAX, N.S.) – Friday night's final contest at the 2023-24 AUS Basketball Championships, presented by Bell, pitted the No. 6 UPEI Panthers against the third-ranked Saint Mary's Huskies in men's quarterfinal action.


It was the Huskies who booked their ticket to the AUS Basketball Championship semifinals with a 68-64 win over the UPEI Panthers in front of a boisterous crowd at Scotiabank Centre.


Shae Linton-Brown (Toronto, Ont.) and teammate Jayrell Diggs (East Preston, N.S.) each scored 22 points to set up an all-Halifax semifinal matchup Saturday night with second-ranked Dalhousie. Game time is set for 8:30pm.


The last time these teams met in the semifinal was back in the 2019-20 season when Dalhouse beat the Huskies 84-64 and went on to win the AUS title.


SMU got off to a quick start, leading UPEI 15-4 halfway through the opening quarter when Jackson Enyinna (Port Harcourt, Nigeria) finished off a nice passing play in close.


UPEI responded with a 10-4 run to close out the quarter to cut the deficit to 19-14.


The Huskies hung on to their lead for the entire second period, with the teams trading baskets. When the halftime buzzer sounded, the Huskies held a narrow 33-31 lead.


It didn't take long for UPEI to take the lead following the break, as Jace Colley (East Preston, N.S.) nailed a 3-point shot just 41 seconds into the third to go up 34-33.


Two minutes later, Chinonso Njelita (Winnipeg, Man.) sank a jump shot to increase the UPEI lead to 38-33.


The Huskies stormed back with an 11-0 run to take back the lead heading into the final quarter of play.


SMU extended their lead to nine early on in the fourth quarter, however, another run by UPEI put them back into it. Before you knew it, a Kamari Scott (Malton, Ont.) jumper put the Panthers up 64-63 with just over three minutes remaining.


The lead didn't last long. Eleven seconds, to be exact, as Diggs hit his own jumpshot to give the Huskies a lead they would not relinquish the rest of the way.


Diggs capped things off by making good on one of two free throws with seconds left to send everyone home.


Linton-Brown was named the Player of the Game.

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