(HALIFAX, N.S.) The Subway AUS Men's Basketball Championship began Friday afternoon at 3 p.m. with the No. 4-ranked Saint Mary's Huskies topping the fifth-ranked Memorial Sea-Hawks by a score of 81-57.
The Huskies were led by AUS first team all-star Johneil Johnson and AUS second team all-star Qyemah Gibson, each scoring 15 points and shooting a combined 11-for-22 from the field, including four-for-10 from three-point range.
Travis Adams, the Huskies' fifth-year forward took home Subway Player of the Game honours, scoring 10 points while collecting nine rebounds, two assists, two blocks and a steal.
Saint Mary's established themselves early, taking a nine-point lead into the second quarter led by Adams' four points, while seeing six other players chip in with at least one point in the first 10 minutes.
Saint Mary's pushed their lead to as much as 14 points in the second quarter, using their defence to force the Sea-Hawks into tough shots late in the shot clock on several consecutive possessions.
Memorial's AUS first team all-star Cole Long made some key shots to keep the Sea-Hawks within striking distance in the first half but wouldn't be able to get Memorial closer than within 10 points.
The Huskies maintained a double-digit lead throughout most of the second quarter, only letting the Sea-Hawks within nine points during the frame. They were led by Gibson's seven points in a balanced scoring effort seeing nine players record at least a point by halftime.
The Sea-Hawks were led at the half by Long's 11 points (five-of-10 from the field) and five rebounds.
Saint Mary's continued their dominant play in the third, led by Johnson's nine points in the quarter, which game him a game-high 15 points heading into the fourth, and helped the Huskies take a 60-37 lead in the final frame.
Memorial was able to keep pace in the fourth quarter, scoring 20 points to the Huskies' 21, but the deficit proved too great to overcome.
The stage is now set for an all-Halifax semifinal as the Huskies move on to play the top-seeded and U SPORTS No. 2-ranked Dalhousie Tigers in Saturday's first men's semifinal at 3 p.m. at the Scotiabank Centre.