For a while, it looked like the Memorial Sea-Hawks might make it extra special.
The Sea-Hawks fell to the conference-leading and undefeated Saint Mary’s Huskies 72-63 Sunday in Atlantic University Sport men’s basketball play in St. John’s, but not before giving it the old college try.
The game was a make-up of a contest scheduled for Nov. 10 that had been postponed because of a power outage. Because the Memorial Field House, the regular home of the Sea-Hawks hoopsters, was being used for a regularly-scheduled AUS women’s volleyball game Sunday afternoon, the basketballers were moved to the “Old Gym,” which had been the longtime hardcourt for Memorial varsity teams, but hadn’t hosted a conference game in many years.
There, the last-place Sea-Hawks (3-9) hung in tough against the Huskies (12-0), fifth-ranked in the country, holding the lead with five minutes left in the third quarter and only trailing by two points entering the final stanza.
But over the final 10 minutes, Saint Mary’s pulled away, established a double-digit lead and never looked back.
Nathan Barker had a game-high 21 points for Memorial, just above his season average, while Daniel Foo added 16 to go along with four assists.
Jeff Damalie scored 10 points off the bench for the Sea-Hawks and chipped in with seven rebounds, tying him with Emmanuel Ring for the team lead in that regard.
Saint Mary’s got a solid bench performance — its non-starters outscored their Memorial counterparts 42-14 — led by Johneil Johnson and Nevell Provo, each with a Huskies-high 13 points.
Both the Sea-Hawks men’s and women’s teams resume their normal AUS basketball schedules next weekend as they host the UPEI Panthers at the Field House.
As for Memorial volleyballers, they also found themselves up against a conference-leading and nationally-ranked unbeaten team — in this case the Dalhousie Tigers — for three weekend matches.
Not surprisingly perhaps, the Lady Hawks (1-13) were swept, losing 3-0 to the Tigers (14-0), who are No. 3 in the nation and have already clinched a conference playoff berth.
The Sea-Hawks were led by Belle de Vries, who totalled 16 kills and 23 digs in the three games, Kaitlyn Kuchinka (11 kills, 22 digs) and Kate Wagar (23 digs).
The Memorial v-ballers are off next weekend.