(Charlottetown, PE) After years of disappointment at the AUS Championships, the Saint Mary's Huskies look like a team hungry for a title.
They took another step toward that goal Saturday night as they dominated the UPEI Panthers 84-47.
The starters played sparing minutes after taking care of business early in the third. Nikita Kasongo earned Subway Player of the Game honours with his 10 points and seven rebounds in 22 minutes of action.
Points were hard to come by for both teams in a low-scoring first. Each team shot 31.3 per cent from the field, but the Huskies carried a slim 14-13 advantage into the second. Kasongo led the way with four early points.
Saint Mary's (5-0) defence locked down in the second and held the Panthers (3-3) to a single field goal that came almost eight minutes into the frame. Like he did the night before, Nico Brauner heated up and scored five of his nine points in the quarter. Teammate Qyemah Gibson gave his team a lift off the bench with four of his 12 points, as the Huskies went into the half up 34-15.
The road team was relentless on the defensive end as their coach encouraged his team to make three consecutive stops each time the Panthers scored. They'd accomplish that goal several times throughout the contest, as UPEI was held to just 27.7 per cent from the field.
After Saint Mary's pushed their lead to 58-31 through three quarters, head coach Jonah Taussig signaled to his bench to close out the win. The reserves poured in a combined 50 points. Johneil Johnson led the way and finished with a game-high 13 points, while Tristan Arthurs racked up 10 on 4-of-4 shooting.
Rookie guard Judy Georges finished with a team-high 12 points and was the lone Panther to reach double digits.
The Huskies take the Dalhousie Tigers Friday night at the Scotiabank Centre.
By Thomas Becker