The Sea-Hawks (5-15) face off against the Saint Mary's Huskies (14-6) in the quarterfinal at the 2018 SUBWAY AUS Championships at the Scotiabank Centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The Sea-Hawks & Huskies have had completely opposite finishes to their seasons, as Memorial enters the game on a four-game losing skid, while the Huskies and reeled off seven consecutive wins. While Saint Mary's enters the game as the favourite, in a single elimination tournament both teams will come in hungry, looking to move on to the semifinal.
These two teams faced off against each other in their last regular season games. As they enter the playoffs, the two teams will certainly be remembering the conclusions from the last meeting. SMU had a very strong performance against Memorial, but the Sea-Hawks will look to learn from their mistakes and give the Huskies more than they can handle.
BY THE NUMBERS
43.3% - Memorial finished fourth in field goal percentage, just above their opponents. Offensive production is certainly a factor for Memorial, as they are a team that can score confidently. Their biggest struggle is limiting their opponents' offensive production.
11.1 – Saint Mary's is a strong offensive rebounding team, placing fourth in the AUS. For Memorial, they rank last. Historically, teams tend to shoot lower percentages at the Scotiabank Centre than during the regular season, so creating second chance opportunities will be at a premium.
20.2 – The Huskies enter this weekend committing 20.2 personal fouls per game (3rd in the AUS) compared to the Sea-Hawks 16.6 (7th in the AUS). The Huskies thrive on the defensive end of the court and will clearly look to establish their physical presence early in the game. Memorial will need to match this intensity, and if given extra opportunities at the foul line, they will need to deliver.
84.7 – The Huskies average 84.7 PPG on the season, which is almost 9 more than the Sea-Hawks. As mentioned, teams tend to see a decrease in numbers from the regular season, so it'll be interesting to see who is most effected by playing in the bigger venue.
Jason Thompson (Memorial) – The first-year student made a great impact for Memorial this year, providing consistent and confident contributions on both ends of the floor. Being unable to perform in the final games of the regular season, due to an injury, Thompson will be hungry to get back on the floor, and get his first taste of playoff basketball in the AUS.
Nikita Kasongo (SMU) – Another first-year student, Kasongo had a breakout season, posting great numbers for a seasoned player, let alone a first-year student. Kasongo was a vital source of offense, providing close to 19 points a game for the season, as well as 4 rebounds and close to 2 steals a game. Most teams will look to plan around his performance, which represents this young player's impact, and potential in the AUS.