Basketball: Capers off to AUS final, and probably to the Final 8 as well

The no. 2-ranked Cape Breton Capers were able to overcome a poor performance from star Jimmy Dorsey and knock off the Cinderella wannabe St. F-X X-Men 80-70 in an AUS semifinal Saturday at the Halifax Metro Centre.

CBU started the game slowly, largely due to early foul trouble for Dorsey, the AUS MVP. He was called for two fouls in the first four minutes of the game, forcing coach Matt Skinn to sit his fifth-year star for the remainder of the quarter.

While the Capers' offence stalled without their star, X was unable to capitalize and only managed to build a five point lead in his absence. The second quarter was all Capers: they immediately went on a 12-3 run to start the quarter and they never really looked back despite losing the lead later on. The X-Men looked disorganized and at times disinterested, much to the displeasure of Steve Konchalski who could be seen chewing out his players for their overall lack of focus even on the Eastlink broadcast.

X was able to string together a nice run late, led by guard Tyrell Vernon who scored eight straight points in under a minute, to take a brief 68-67 lead midway through the fourth. Unfortunately for St. Francis Xavier they could not sustain the run and CBU quickly rebuilt their lead back up to nine, keeping X to one basket in the last six minutes.

The leading scorer for X was Jeremy Dunn who was playing what turned out to be the final game of his career; he had 21 on 9 of 23 shooting. For CBU it was forward Sean McCormick who had 19 points and 9 rebounds, on 8 of 11 shooting. Dorsey only finished 3 for 13, all three-pointers, but he added nine rebounds and seven assists to go with his 14 points.

The Capers play the winner of Acadia and Saint Mary's on Sunday, but have likely clinched a Final 8 wildcard spot even if they lose that AUS final game, given the strength of their season to date.
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