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Crocker nets 12 in loss to Huskies

Crocker nets 12 in loss to Huskies

Source: Lauren Phillips, SMU Athletics

The Saint Mary's Huskies received a full team effort in a decisive 75-42 win against the Dalhousie Tigers to win their home opener on Thursday night at the Homburg Centre in Halifax.  

A balanced scoring effort by the Huskies saw ten out of their eleven players put points on the board, and a combined 35 points off the bench to secure a home-crowd win against their cross-town rivals in front of a crowd of more than 250 fans.  

The young Tigers team started off strong, with forward Kelsey Crocker (St. John's, NL) hitting a pair of threes as part of a 13-0 run, giving the Tigers a 16-8 lead with just over a minute remaining in the first quarter. The Huskies stemmed the tide with a pair of three pointers hit by guards Alaina McMillan (Brantford, ON) and Courtney Donaldson (Kelowna, BC) and were able to cut the Tigers lead to two, as the score was 16-14 after the first. 

The second frame saw an explosive performance from the Huskies, starting with a jump shot from Donaldson to tie the game up 16-16. After a series of quick baskets and five lead changes, the Huskies went on a 16-0 run over five minutes to end the half up 37-21.  

The Tigers were paced by Crocker who recorded nine points and two rebounds in the first half. Huskies all-star guard Alaina McMillan, led all scorers with 11 points and added three rebounds and one assist in the first half. 

The Huskies deep bench showed up in the third quarter, with Aki Kobayashi (Halifax, NS) and Donaldson making plays off the bench, along with continued strong play by McMillan and Sophia Widmeyer (Dartmouth, NS). Deep into the quarter, McMillan received a long pass from Kobayashi for an uncontested basket under the rim to put the Huskies up 49-26. Clara Gascoigne (Dartmouth, NS) and Kobayashi each racked up six points in the third, and the Huskies took a 61-31 lead into the final quarter. 

The fourth quarter saw the Huskies bench take up most of the playtime after extending their lead to 65-31 with a jumpshot from Kobayashi, who worked both ends of the court. Kobayashi combined with reserve guards Aiyanna Empringham (Middle Sackville, NS) and Isabella MacKay (New Glasgow, NS) for 11 of the Huskies 14 fourth quarter points to secure the 75-42 victory.  

Saint Mary's forward, Marlo Steenbakkers (Ottawa, ON) was awarded Subway Player of the Game honours and impressed on both ends of the count with 10 points, five rebounds, three blocks and one assist.  

"Coming out and focusing on our defence and rebounding, that's what we're good at really, and making those passes to get those easy shots that we know we can make," said Steenbakkers post game. "Everyone here is a fantastic player. We push each other so hard in practice so we know that when they go in it's not going to be a problem. [The bench players] can handle everything just by themselves." 

Crocker led the Tigers with 12 points, and four rebounds, while Anna Parsons scored 11 points, grabbed seven rebounds, one block and one steal. 

The Huskies advance to 2-1 in the AUS regular season as the Tigers fall to 0-3. The cross-town rivals will face off again on Saturday, this time at the Dalplex with tip-off scheduled for 6 p.m. Atlantic.