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AUS basketball: Memorial men lose twice, but earn post-season berth

Despite losing twice to the St. Francis Xavier X-Men twice in weekend AUS men's basketball play in Antigonish, N.S., Nathan Barker (centre) and the Memorial Sea-Hawks still have clinched a berth in the conference playoffs. — St. FX Athletics/via Memorial Athletics
Despite losing twice to the St. Francis Xavier X-Men twice in weekend AUS men's basketball play in Antigonish, N.S., Nathan Barker (centre) and the Memorial Sea-Hawks still have clinched a berth in the conference playoffs. — St. FX Athletics/via Memorial Athletics - Submitted

Sea-Hawk women sweep St. FX, can still improve their playoff position

Memorial University’s men’s and women’s basketball teams are both playoff-bound this season.

While the Lady Birds entered the weekend Atlantic University Sport series with the St. Francis Xavier X-Women guaranteed a playoff sport, the Sea-Hawks’ men’s squad was tied with St. FX for the final two berths in the post-season.

The bad news is the X-Men swept a pair of games from MUN, but the good news is the Sea-Hawks guaranteed themselves a spot in next month’s playoffs based solely on mathematics — with 18 points and two games remaining, the sixth-place Sea-Hawks (5-13) cannot be caught by seventh-place UPEI Panthers. UPEI, which also lost twice over the weekend to UNB, has two games left in the regular season, but has only eight points.

On Sunday in Antigonish, N.S., the Lady Birds received 14 points from Haille Nickerson and 13 from Cameron Longley to post a 72-54 win. Longley chipped in with eight rebounds. Lindsay Taylor added 10 points for Memorial, which led 36-29 at halftime.

On Saturday night, Brooklyn Wright scored 19 points and grabbed eight boards, and Taylor netted 18 as the Sea-Hawks came away with a 73-65 win.

Nickerson scored 16.

Caroline Hrabinski (left) and the St. Francis Xavier X-Women couldn't get past Jane Baird and the visiting Memorial Sea-Hawks in two weekend AUS games. — St. FX Athletics via Memorial Athletics
Caroline Hrabinski (left) and the St. Francis Xavier X-Women couldn't get past Jane Baird and the visiting Memorial Sea-Hawks in two weekend AUS games. — St. FX Athletics via Memorial Athletics

The Lady Birds trailed 33-25 at the half, but outscored the X-Women 26-12 in the fourth quarter.

MUN closes out its regular season next weekend against the Saint Mary’s Huskies at the Field House. Currently, the 10-8 Sea-Hawks are tied with 9-9 UPEI for fourth place with 26 points apiece, two behind Saint Mary’s.

That means there’s still some jockeying for final placing before the AUS playoffs, which are set for March 2-4 at Scotiabank Centre in Halifax.

Memorial’s men’s squad fell 92-62 to the 8-10 X-Men Sunday as the home team’s full lineup, with the exception of one player, saw double figures in minutes played.

For MUN, Daniel Gordon and Corner Brook’s Chris Dobbin both had 11 points. Nathan Barker of Massey Drive, outside Corner Brook, scored 10.

The X-Men led 45-33 at the half.

St. FX won 90-66 Saturday night. Barker and Greg Manuel each scored 16 points for the Sea-Hawks, and Gordon netted 11.

The X-Men led 42-39 at halftime.

The men’s basketball team also closes out its regular season next weekend against 12-6 Saint Mary’s, trailing the X-Men by four points. Like the women’s tournament, the men’s AUS championship is slated for March 2-4 at Scotiabank Centre.

sports@thetelegram.com

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