Halifax, NS – Dalhousie pulled off another comeback for their sixth championship in seven seasons.
The Dalhousie Tigers defended their Atlantic University Sport (AUS) championship as they defeated the University of Prince Edward Island 84-78 in a thrilling comeback victory on Sunday. Shamar Burrows dropped 19 points and 13 rebounds in a monster performance at the Scotiabank Centre.
“We knew that we had to fight to come back. I was looking for any opportunities to grab boards or offensive boards to get a second chance,” Burrows said.
The Tigers were down at half by 14 points and came out roaring in the second half. The tournament’s Most Valuable Player, Keevan Veinot, got the Tigers going with nine points in the third quarter, and Alex Carson took over the fourth quarter with 10 points on three for four shooting. Head coach Rick Plato said Veinot is hands down the best player in the country.
“That’s where if you gave me a pick of anybody in the country, I take him first. He’s the best, and he’s a winner,” Plato said.
The Tigers are not new to second-half comebacks as they clawed back against Memorial from eight points down in the semi-finals. Carson pointed out the slow first-half starts are annoying, but the team’s resilience allows the Tigers to stick together.
“We never start fighting with each other even we’re down, and that’s what leads to these comeback wins,” Carson said.
In what was both Veinot’s and Carson’s final seasons with the team, Carson said it is unbelievable to win with the Tigers one last time.
“I’m really happy that I was able to win in my last season. These deficits, especially yesterday being down 21 points, it was kind of in the back of my mind; this could be my last game,” Carson said.
UPEI was dominant throughout the tournament, winning their first two games by an average score of 16 points. However, the team is young, with only one player past their second year of eligibility. Elijah Miller, who dropped a combined 71 points in his first two tournament games, said the finals showed UPEI still has a lot of room for growth.
“We’re gonna use this game as motivation, use the loss as fuel to the fire for us to come back next year and make a run at it again,” Miller said.