AUS Women's Basketball Championships: Huskies to play for second consecutive title

AUS Women's Basketball Championships: Huskies to play for second consecutive title

Steenbakkers leads Huskies with 18 points, 13 rebounds in semifinal win over X-Women


Women's Semifinal #1
#5 STFX vs #1 Saint Mary's


(HALIFAX, N.S.) – The Saint Mary's Huskies women's basketball team is one win from going back-to-back.


The defending champs, ranked No. 1 going into the weekend, defeated the fifth-seeded STFX X-Women 71-61 in the semifinal of the AUS Basketball Championships on Saturday afternoon at Scotiabank Centre.


The Huskies advance to Sunday's championship final, where they will play the winner of Saturday's late game between the Memorial Sea-Hawks and UNB Reds. Tip-off is scheduled for 1pm.


Saint Mary's will be trying to earn consecutive AUS titles for the first time since Acadia went back-to-back in the 2017-18 and 2018-19 seasons. The last time Saint Mary's women's program won consecutive championships, they captured four straight – winning in 2012-13, 2013-14, 2014-15 and 2015-16.


The X-Women, who had not made the playoffs in 10 years, defeated the fourth-ranked UPEI Panthers 80-55 on Friday to advance to Saturday's matchup with SMU.


Saint Mary's looked every bit the No. 1 seed right from the jump, going on an 11-0 run to start the contest. STFX finally got on the board halfway through the frame when Elizabeth Kennedy (Richmond, Ont.) made a layup to cut the lead to 11-2.


Kennedy's basket seemed to awaken the X-Women, who then went on an 11-7 run the rest of the quarter – even taking the lead at one point when Kristine Cooper (Hamilton, Ont.) connected from behind the three-point line to put her team up 13-12 with 2:17 left in the frame.


Any momentum gained at the end of the first quarter stayed there, however, as Saint Mary's dominated the second period to take a 40-26 lead at the break.


Marlo Steenbakkers (Ottawa, Ont.) had 10 points and 10 rebounds in the opening half. The fourth-year forward finished the contest with 18 points and 13 rebounds to be named the Player of the Game.


In the second half, the Huskies extended their lead to 22 mid-way through the third quarter, but STFX kept chipping away.


Ekaterina Karchevskaya (Mogilev, BY) led the X-Women with 15 points – seven of which came in the final quarter as the X-Women tried to mount a comeback.

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