AUS Women's Basketball Championship: Make it two in a row for the Huskies

AUS Women's Basketball Championship: Make it two in a row for the Huskies

Huskies now headed to Edmonton to Edmonton for U SPORTS Final 8

AUS Basketball Championships
WF #2 UNB vs #1 SMU


(HALIFAX, N.S.) – Defence wins championships, and the Saint Mary's women's basketball team proved just that.

The Huskies allowed just four fourth-quarter points, as they defeated the UNB Reds 64-49 in their 2023-24 AUS Basketball Championship title game played Sunday afternoon at Scotiabank Centre to win their second consecutive league crown.

Saint Mary's wins consecutive titles for the first time since winning four in a row – 2012-13, 2013-14, 2014-15, 2015-16). Sunday's triumph also marks the seventh time in league history the Huskies have hoisted the AUS women's basketball trophy.

In a truly back and forth contest, UNB held the lead after the first quarter (13-12) only for Saint Mary's to hold the lead after two at half (29-25). The third saw UNB again take the lead after 30 minutes (45-41), but it was Saint Mary's who ended the game on top.

UNB saw their quest to win their first league title since 1998-99 come to an end, however, they still lead the conference in all-time league titles with an outstanding 28.

The teams showed some championship game nerves right off the bat, as the first quarter saw the Reds and Huskies combined for just 25 points.

Saint Mary's found their legs in the second quarter thanks to seven points off the bench from Aki Kobayashi (Osaka, Japan) to outscore the Reds 17-12 and take a 29-25 lead into halftime.

Following the break, it was the Reds who finally got going, as Jayda Veinot (Port Williams, N.S.) and Erin Ingalls (St. George, N.B.) each scored six points as UNB took back the lead by outscoring the Huskies 20-12 in the third quarter.

But in the fourth, the league's best defense went to work, allowing just two baskets from the Reds. The first came at the 7:56 mark on a Veinot jump shot, the third and second points came 102 seconds later when Leah Travers (Calgary, Alta.) made both free throws.

From the 6:14 mark on, the Huskies did not allow the Reds a single point, missing on their next 11 shot attempts – amazing considering UNB was the second-highest scoring team in the league during the regular season, averaging 78.2 points per game.

As the Reds were struggling from the field, the Huskies were making nearly everything. Leading the way for Saint Mary's in the second half was Alaina McMillan (Brantford, Ont.), who scored 15 of her game-high 22 points in the final 20 minutes to secure her second straight AUS title.

In addition to being named Player of the Game, McMillan was also named the AUS Basketball Championship MVP and a Tournament All-Star.

Saint Mary's will now go on to play in the U SPORTS Final 8, hosted by the University of Alberta in Edmonton, March 8-10.


AUS Women's Basketball Championship Awards
Tournament MVP
Alaina McMillan – Saint Mary's


Tournament All-Stars
Alaina McMillan – Saint Mary's
Marlo Steenbakkers – Saint Mary's
Jayda Veinot – UNB
Katie Butts – UNB
Alana Short - Memorial

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