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Tigers win third-straight AUS championship

Photo courtesy of Nick Pearce
Photo courtesy of Nick Pearce

(HALIFAX, N.S.) It took a fourth quarter comeback in two-straight games but the Dalhousie Tigers are AUS champions once more.  

Dalhousie defeated the UPEI Panthers 84-78 in the 2022 Subway AUS Basketball Championship final in front of a crowd of 4,893 fans. This marked their third-straight banner and sixth title in the past seven championship tournaments.   

Subway player of the game Shamar Burrows (Nassau, Bahamas) picked up where he left off in the semifinal, with early baskets for the Tigers. The fourth-year guard was instrumental in the comeback semifinal win on Saturday and it was more of the same in the final as he posted 19 points and added 13 rebounds in the win.   

Panthers first team all-star Elijah Miller (Rexdale, Ont.) continued his high-scoring ways, making the first basket of the final after scoring more than 30 points the previous two nights. The first team all-star had 13 points in the final.   

Second-year Panther Glen Cox (Scotsburn, N.S.) made the final basket of the first quarter, sinking a shot from outside the arc as he dominated with 15 points in the first. UPEI led by 10 points after 10 minutes.   

Dalhousie came out with energy in the second quarter, with all-star guard Keevan Veinot (Port Williams, N.S.) sinking a three. The Tigers brought it to within one possession, but UPEI was able to reply with timely baskets to keep the lead.    

Two baskets from the free throw line and a slam dunk by Christian Tabiri (North York, Ont.) were highlight plays in a run of 10 unanswered points by the Panthers.   

UPEI were up 49-35 at halftime, with 26 of those points coming from second-year guard Cox. Burrows led the way for the Tigers, with eight points and six rebounds.  

It was Burrows providing the spark for the Dalhousie to start the second half, with a steal and dunk, then a layup after a key stop.   

Keevan Veinot powered through the paint with a slam dunk in the third quarter to make it a two-point game, prompting a timeout from UPEI and a roar from the Dalhousie fans and his bench just a few meters away. Veinot finished with 19 points, nine assists and three rebounds.  

Glen Cox responded after the timeout with a layup, then made two free throws to give the Panthers more breathing room. The four points were part of 32 points for Cox in the final.   

UPEI held a 63-56 lead going into the fourth quarter, with the Tigers outscoring the Panthers 21-14.  

Dalhousie's Alex Carson (Lower Sackville) and Veinot with back-to-back threes to start the quarter. Dakelle Brooks (East Preston, N.S.) responded for the Panthers with a trey of his own.   

Another Carson three followed by a layup from Samuel Wade (Wallace, N.S) gave the Tigers its first lead of the half with 7:43 remaining in the game.  

While the Panthers were efficient from the free throw line in the fourth quarter—going 19 for 23 (82.6%) on the day—they were unable to claw back a lead.   

Dalhousie's Keevan Veinot was named tournament MVP, just hours after his twin sister Jayda Veinot (Port Wallace, N.S.) won the same award in the women's final as she led the Acadia Axewomen to an AUS banner.   

Veinot and his teammate Alex Carson were both named to the tournament all-star team. UPEI's Glen Cox and Elijah Miller also made the team, along with Cole Long (St. John's, Nfld.) of the Memorial Sea-Hawks.  

The Dalhousie Tigers have now won eight AUS championships (1996, '09, '11, '15, '16, '17, '19,'20, '22). This win will send them to the 2022 U SPORTS men's basketball championships, hosted by the University of Alberta in Edmonton, from April 1-3.