By: Kirk Jessome
The Dalhousie Tigers men’s and women’s basketball teams head into the AUS championships this weekend on the hunt for a conference title.
After a season of great improvement, the women’s basketball team looks ready to leave their mark on the AUS playoffs.
Led by fifth-year forward Robertha Charles on both ends of the floor, the Tigers have played with a defensive intensity that has been on par with any team in the conference this season.
Having to play without standout guard Michele Tchiakoua, the short bench of the Tigers ran into some offensive struggles early in the season, especially on the second weekend of back-to-back games. Rallying before the halfway mark of the season, the Tigers carried a three-game win streak through the winter break, and picked up four wins against StFX, and two key 4-point games against Saint Mary’s.
After hitting another skid at the back end of the season, the Tigers once again turned it around with a big win over a strong UNB team to solidify their spot in the conference championship for the first time in since the 2015-16 season with an 8-12 record.
The Tigers will enter the conference tournament as the #6 seed and face off against the explosive offence of Acadia in the first quarter-final matchup. The Tigers will need to continue to step up on the defensive end and take advantage of the size of Charles and Lia Kentzler if they are to make a run for the title this season.
The men’s basketball team is looking to get back on top in the AUS conference in the same season that they are to host the U SPORTS Final 8 championship. With the hot shooting touch of Alex Carson, and Sascha Kappos rattling the rim down low, the Tigers seem ready to do just that.
Despite getting off to a rocky start, the Tigers were able to get important wins against Cape Breton and StFX in back-to-back situations, before eventually dropping their first 4-point game to Saint Mary’s in a thrilling overtime matchup at the Scotiabank Centre.
The Tigers used the winter break to gear up for their longest stretch of the season, needing to improve on their early 4-3 record, and they did just that.
After dropping three very tough 4-point games in the month of January, the Tigers have rallied in the final push of the season and have won eight in a row going into the conference championship, highlighted by two big wins over UNB.
The Tigers 14-6 record is good enough to give them the #3 seed in the conference championship, finishing just behind UNB in points due to 4-point games. Their play throughout the season however has secured them a spot in the U SPORTS Top 10 each week since the season began, sitting at the #7 spot going into the conference tournament.
The Tigers will face off against the hot three-point shooting of Memorial as their first test in the AUS championship.
The women’s basketball team will start their playoff push on Friday, March 1 at 3:00pm against Acadia, while the men’s team will tipoff at 8:30pm, both at the Scotiabank Centre.
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