Calgary Dinos, Ryerson Rams set to battle in Final 8 championship rematch

HALIFAX — There will be a rematch of last year’s championship in the semifinals of the 2019 U Sports Final 8 men’s basketball tournament.

The reigning champion Calgary Dinos, seeded second, will square off against the No. 3 Ryerson Rams on Saturday after both recorded quarterfinal wins on Friday.

The Dinos, unbeaten in regular-season and playoff action this year (26-0), survived a scare on Friday. Calgary wiped out a five-point halftime deficit to beat the Saint Mary’s Huskies 94-78.

The Dinos outscored the No. 7 Huskies of Halifax 28-10 in the third quarter to take command.

“I am pleased with how we responded in the second half,” Dinos coach Dan Vanhooren said.

“I told our players to be themselves — we were playing too safely. We gave Saint Mary’s too much in the paint and their shooting percentage was too high (in the first half).”

Brett Layton led the Dinos with 23 points, going 10-of-16 from the field. Mambi Diawara added 17 points and 11 rebounds, while Lars Schlueter had 16 points and 10 rebounds.

Kemar Alleyne led the Huskies with 20 points.

The Dinos shot 52.9 per cent from the field, well above the Huskies’ 38.2 per-cent clip. Calgary also outrebounded Saint Mary’s 28-18.

“They picked up their intensity on the defensive end in the second half,” Huskies coach Jonah Taussig said.

“I don’t think they necessarily did anything differently, but what they wanted to do, they did a little bit better.”

Calgary beat Ryerson 79-77 in the final last year on a layup by Diawara in the final seconds.

No. 3 RYERSON 87, No. 6 CONCORDIA 47

The Rams cruised to victory after outscoring the Stingers 26-6 in the opening quarter.

Four players scored in double figures for the Toronto school, led by Warsame Mohamed with 15. He also had nine rebounds.

Myles Charvis had 14 points and nine rebounds for Ryerson.

Adrian Armstrong topped Montreal’s Stingers with 19 points.

Concordia was just 3-of-36 (8.3 per cent) from three-point range, while Ryerson was 11-of-22 (50 per cent).

The No. 1 Carleton Ravens were scheduled to face the No. 8 Alberta Golden Bears and the No. 4 UBC Thunderbirds were slated to square off with the No. 5 Dalhousie Tigers in the Friday evening quarterfinals.

Carleton had won seven national championships in a row before falling in the semis last year.

The final is Sunday.

The Canadian Press

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