AUS Women's Basketball Championship: STFX beat Panthers, advance to semis

AUS Women's Basketball Championship: STFX beat Panthers, advance to semis

Rookie standout Neita leads X-Women with 17 points, 11 rebounds

Quarterfinal #1 - Women
No. 5 STFX vs No. 4 UPEI


(HALIFAX, N.S.) – The fifth-seeded STFX X-Women and fourth-ranked UPEI Panthers raised the curtain on the 2024 AUS Basketball Championships, presented by Bell, on Friday afternoon at the Scotiabank Centre.


And it was the X-Women who proved regular season results do not matter at this time of the year, beating the UPEI Panthers 80-55 to advance to the AUS Women's Basketball Championships semifinals. During the regular season, STFX lost all four games to the Panthers.


The win sets up a date between STFX and the defending champions, and top-ranked, Saint Mary's University Huskies. That game will be played Saturday afternoon at 1pm with the winner securing a berth in Sunday's championship final.


After an evenly matched first 10 minutes of play in which UPEI held a 19-16 lead, the X-Women nearly doubled their first quarter point total – outscoring the Panthers 31-18.


The 31-point outburst was the highest scoring quarter all season long for the X-Women.


STFX guard Kristine Cooper (Hamilton, Ont.) and Katie Upham (North River, N.S.) led most of the charge for the blue and white, as they combined for 23 first-half points to help their team to a 47-37 lead at halftime.


In the second half, STFX's defence became the star, holding the Panthers to just 10 points in the third quarter, and eight points in the fourth to cement the win.


Not helping matters was the fact that UPEI could not find a way to score the ball. After going 7-for-11 from the three-point line in the first half, the Panthers were blanked on their next 17 attempts.


UPEI shot a combined 26.9% from the floor, while the X-Women shot 47.9%.


STFX standout rookie Shannon Neita (Toronto, Ont,) proved to be a problem down low for the Panthers. The All-Rookie Team selection scored 17 points and added 11 rebounds and was named Player of the Game.


Fourth-year forward Lauren Rainford (Toronto, Ont.) led the Panthers with 13 points and seven assists.

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