Dalhousie to take on top-ranked Carleton in U Sports men’s basketball final

Dalhousie Tigers forward Sascha Kappos (14) gestures to teammates as they celebrate their win against the UBC Thunderbirds during the second half of semi-final U Sports Final 8 Championships basketball action in Ottawa, on Saturday, March 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

Alex Carson and Sascha Kappos both scored 19 points as the No. 2 Dalhousie Tigers defeated the No. 3 UBC Thunderbirds 84-55 in the second semifinal at the U Sports men’s basketball championship on Saturday.

This will be the first time Dalhousie will play for a national basketball title.

It will take on the top-ranked Carleton Ravens in Sunday’s gold-medal game in TD Place Arena at Lansdowne Park.

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Carleton is looking for its 15th national title since 2003 and its ninth in 10 years.

Jadon Cohee had 19 points for UBC in a losing effort.

It was a feisty opening half as U Sports coach of the year Rick Plato received a technical foul, while guards Jordan Wilson and Keevan Veinot were given unsportsmanlike fouls. Jonah Morrison received an unsportsmanlike foul in the third quarter for UBC.

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But the pro-Dalhousie crowd was in full voice as the Tigers took a 41-29 lead into the third quarter.

The Thunderbirds scored 103 points in their quarterfinal matchup against the Bishop’s Gaiters – the most of any team – but were stymied by Dalhousie, which forced 19 turnovers.

Veinot, the AUS player of the year, scored just eight points but it mattered little, as the Tigers were able to outscore the Thunderbirds 26-6 after they turned the ball over. UBC scored just seven points in the final quarter.

Dalhousie defeated the Thunderbirds in the quarterfinals a year ago but lost to Carleton in the semifinals.

Earlier Saturday, Isiah Osborne had 17 points as the Ravens soundly defeated the No. 5 Western Mustangs 90-63 in the first semifinal.

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Ukasha Khan had 15 points for Western.

Carleton’s bench was the difference maker, out-scoring the Mustangs 53-19. The Ravens pulled away for good after the third quarter, topping Western 29-9 in that frame.

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