(HALIFAX, N.S.) The Dalhousie Tigers are the 2019 AUS men's basketball champions after defeating the Saint Mary's Huskies 65-55 in Sunday's championship game at Scotiabank Centre.
This is the Tigers fourth AUS title in five years.
Sascha Kappos led the Tigers with a team-high 20 points, adding six rebounds to earn Subway Player of the Game honours.
Dalhousie, who finished third in the conference, defeated the Memorial Sea-Hawks on Friday evening and the UNB Reds on Saturday on their way to Sunday's final.
The Huskies took off to an early lead, keeping the Tigers scoreless through the first five minutes of play as they held a 7-0 edge.
Keevan Veinot (Port Williams, N.S.) put the Tigers on the board at the five-minute mark of the opening frame to cut Saint Mary's lead to five.
The Tigers began to catch the Huskies, as a three-pointer from AUS second team all-star Sascha Kappos (Miami, Florida) cut into Saint Mary's lead, 10-9.
With just four seconds remaining in the frame, a jump shot from Dalhousie's Jordan Brathwaite (Milton, Ont.) allowed the Tigers to take an 11-10 edge after the first 10 minutes of play.
The Tigers came out hot in the second, scoring eight unanswered points to hold a 19-10 lead with just under two minutes into the quarter.
The Huskies made a push late in the frame, with a layup from Nikita Kasongo (Chateauguay, Que.) putting Saint Mary's within two as the Tigers held a 21-19 lead at halftime.
The Tigers were able to hold onto their edge throughout the third, as Kappos posted 10 points in the quarter to lead 43-36 with just 10 minutes to play.
The Huskies looked for the comeback throughout the fourth, as a dunk from Kasongo put them within two as the Tigers held a 52-50 edge with just 3:24 left in regulation.
With the clock ticking, Alex Carson (Lower Sackville, N.S.) drained three huge three-pointers, sealing the victory for the Tigers as they held on for the 65-55 victory.
Tournament all-stars for the weekend are Dalhousie's Kappos and Veinot, Saint Mary's Brauner and Kasongo, and Cape Breton's Osman Omar. Veinot was named the Subway AUS Championship MVP.
Both the Tigers and the Huskies will represent the AUS at next weekend's U SPORTS Final 8 Men's Basketball Championship which is being hosted by Dalhousie at Scotiabank Centre in Halifax, N.S.