The Mount Allison Mounties men's basketball program made history on Sunday by claiming the school's first ever ACAA men's basketball championship. The Mounties defeated the host MSVU Mystics 81-75 in a spirited championship game that stayed close throughout.
The Mounties, who entered the championship weekend as the 2nd seed, advanced to Sunday's championship game with a 92-66 win over STU in semi-final play on Saturday. The Mounties actually trailed by 7 points at half time but dropped 62 points in the 2nd half to outscore the Tommies by 33 points and to punch their ticket to the final. Junior Aram Currie led the Mounties offensively, going 7 for 11 from behind the 3 point line en route to 25 points in the game.
The Mounties never trailed on Sunday afternoon, scoring the first two points of the game and holding a slim lead through the 1st quarter. Starting the 2nd quarter with an 18-14 lead, the Mounties began to separate a little as the quarter wore on. The Mounties would head to the locker room at halftime with a 42-31 lead.
The Mounties once again started fast in the 3rd quarter, holding a 13 point lead at one point, but MSVU answered back with their biggest push of the day, an 11-0 run to move to within 2 points. That's the closest they would get as the Mounties answered with a key 3 point play from Emmanuel Octavious to stretch the lead back to 5 points. From there, the Mounties held their lead until the game's final moments. MSVU hit a 3 pointer with 14 seconds remaining to move within 4 points of the lead but two clutch free throws from Currie ended any threat of a comeback. As time ticked off the clock the Mounties stormed the court to celebrate their first even ACAA Men's Basketball Championship.
Sophomore Mountie and ACAA 1st team All-star Sam Pierson led the Mounties with 21 points to go along with 8 rebounds on the afternoon. Junior James French had 12 rebounds and 9 points while the freshman Octavious had 16 points during 33 minutes played. Aram Currie chipped in with 14 points while Trevor Schulz, playing in his last ACAA game, had 6 points and 3 key blocks for the champions.
Mounties head coach Steve Chapman was named the ACAA Coach of the Year at Friday's banquet. Chapman and his Mounties made history in 2017 when they became the first Mounties team ever to advance to CCAA Nationals. The Mounties were ACAA silver medalists that year. After losing in last year's ACAA Championship game, the Mounties returned this season to reach a new pinnacle for the program - an ACAA Championship for the first time and a return trip to CCAA Nationals.
The Mounties will compete at the 2020 CCAA Men's basketball National Championship from March 19th-21st at Humber College (Toronto, ON).
To see Sunday's boxscore - click here
For more information about the 2020 CCAA National Championships - click here