FREDERICTON, NB – Saint Mary's men's basketball team topped the UPEI Panthers 113-107 in a nail biter on the last day of the Accron Eric Garland basketball tournament.
Brian Rouse took player of the game with an impressive 42 points going 16-26 from the field. Brad States scored 31 points with 14 rebounds for the Panthers.
Marquis Clayton earned 27 points with 10 helpers, and was also honored with tournament MVP for his outstanding play.
"My teammates were just finding me in my spots where I like the ball, I was using screens well just trying to get others involved and then get myself involved as well afterwards," said Marquis Clayton
UPEI took an early edge over AUS rivals Saint Mary's early in the first quarter outscoring the panthers 29-21. Both teams surrendered eight turnovers in the first half but it was the Huskies making the most out of it with 12 points off the turnover, five more than the panthers seven.
Despite the early lead, UPEI let the Huskies back into the game, scoring 14 less than the previous first quarter (29). Saint Mary's worked their way back into the game tying it up 42-42 with a minute and change to go in the half. UPEI went into the break still up, but only by a slim margin 44-42.
UPEI made 10-11 from the free throw line, but failed to repeat the shooting accuracy from long range, only shooting 33 per cent outside the arc.
Lorenzo Parker caped off a close quarter with a buzzer beater from beyond the arc, to bring his teams total to 28 in quarter four more than UPEI. Saint Mary's led by two 70-68 at the end of three shooting an even 50 per cent.
Both teams continued trading blows in the fourth, Brad States converted a tough and one, to help his Panthers pull ahead. SMU was looking at 4 fouls in the first minute of the forth but continued to play hard-nosed defense in the post.
All tied up at 96 a piece with only 18 seconds both teams come out of the timeout looking to pull ahead. But a scramble for the rebound after a missed UPEI shot, the clock stuck zero with the score all tied up.
Saint Mary's made the most of their offence when it counted scoring 17 points in the overtime period to stay undefeated 113-107.
Both teams found themselves on the foul line more than 30 times in what was a physical game.
"It was scrappy for sure, both teams trying to win sometimes that happens," said Huskies head coach Jonah Taussig. "I thought we played real well in the overtime and I was happy to get the win with only five small guards out there."
"Our coach just told us at the beginning of the game, just come out play hard, play together," said Clayton.
"We're going to have our ups and our down's, every team is going to go on their runs but after that you just have to put it together and you'll come through as a team."
Both teams head back with three games under their belt and prepare for the upcoming AUS regular season.
Michael Bourgeois for UNB communications