MUN drop two to Saint Mary’s, will face Dalhousie in quarterfinal round
The Saint Mary’s Huskies completed a perfect Atlantic University Sport (AUS) regular season by sweeping the Memorial Sea-Hawks in two games at the Homburg Centre in Halifax over the weekend.
SMU beat MUN 87-51 Saturday after taking an 76-56 victory Friday.
Memorial finished 9-11 and will play the fifth-place Dalhousie Tigers (10-10) in the quarterfinals March 7 at the University of Prince Edward Island.
The St. Francis Xavier X-Women placed second (11-9) followed by Cape Breton Capers (11-9). Host UPEI Panthers had a 9-11 record. The UNB Varsity Reds and Acadia Axewomen each finished with a 5-15 records.
“I thought it was a good weekend,” said MUN coach Doug Partridge.
“Obviously the final scores were not great, but at this stage of our development as a program we did what we wanted to do,” added the MUN mentor, who pointed out he used all 12 roster players.
“We worked some things out and people saw what we wanted to do against SMU in case we play them again.”
MUN will get another shot at SMU in the semifinal if they can get past Dal in the first round of the playoffs.
Partridge said first-year guard Lindsay Taylor “had a great weekend shooting the ball,” hitting five three-pointers over the two games “which is good for her to get some rhythm.”
Kelia Pond led MUN Sunday with 11 points. Taylor chipped in with nine points off the bench. Sandra Amoah sank eight.
Chante Clarke led MUN Saturday with 12 points off the bench in 17 minutes.
Taylor netted 10 in seven minutes. Carolyn Adams, Marika Vanden Elzen and Megan Robinson each scored seven points. Amoah had five points with 10 rebounds.
The Memorial Sea-Hawks men’s team finished last on a 4-16 record after losing a pair of games against Saint Mary’s Huskies in Halifax during the weekend.
SMU beat MUN 97-84 Saturday and 102-84 Friday.
First-place Acadia Axemen (15-5) were followed by SMU (14-6), UPEI Panthers (11-9), St. Francis Xavier X-Men (11-9) UNB Varsity Reds (10-10), Cape Breton Capers (9-11) and Dalhousie Tigers (6-14).
“All things considered, it wasn’t a bad weekend against SMU,” said MUN coach Peter Benoite. “They (SMU) are an up and down team and when they are up, they are as good as any team in the country. They have loads of talent and if they can put it together in playoffs, they will have a strong chance of winning the league,” said Benoite.
Rookie Davion Parnsalu led Memorial Saturday with 21 points, eight rebounds, seven assists and six steals.
First-year Jacob Ranton contributed 18 points with seven rebounds. Alpha Kisusi scored 16 points. Caleb Gould netted a dozen points with nine rebounds and rookie Daniel Foo scored seven points. Vasilije Curcic sat out the game due to a groin injury.
Gould led MUN Friday with 22 points, one more than Curcic who also had 11 rebounds.
Parnsalu scored 18 points and Ranton added eight.
“I thought we got great performances from Vasilje and Caleb on Friday night and Davion showed great consistency,” noted Benoite. “Caleb was banged up as well and put in a gutsy performance.
“However, we just didn’t do enough defensively to keep the game close enough to steal it down the stretch.”
Benoite said Parnsalu had a great game on Saturday.
The conference playoffs begin Friday night at the Halifax Metro Centre when UNB Varsity Reds take on St. Francis Xavier X-Men and Cape Breton Capers play UPEI Panthers. SMU and Acadia Axemen earned first-round byes.