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University of Calgary Dinos' Brett Layton, third from right, tries to get a shot off in front of Ryerson Rams Tanor Ngom, third from left, and Keevon Small during the second half of semifinal action in the USports men's basketball national championship in Halifax on Saturday, March 9, 2019.Darren Calabrese/The Canadian Press

Brett Layton had 17 points and 12 rebounds as the defending champion Calgary Dinos held on to beat the Ryerson Rams 67-65 and advance to Canadian men’s university basketball championship game.

The semifinal was a rematch of last year’s final when the No. 2 Dinos also beat Ryerson to win their first W.P. McGee Trophy.

Calgary will face No. 1 Carleton in Sunday’s championship game after the Ravens defeated No. 5 Dalhousie 76-65 in the other semi.

Carleton will be aiming for a 14th national title and first since 2017 when it had won seven straight championships before falling in last year’s semis.

“It was a great game and we expected that from Dalhousie,” said Carleton head coach Dave Smart.

“They gave us everything we could handle. They are so solid in what they want to do as a team.”

Mambi Diawara also scored 17 points for Calgary while adding seven steals, six rebounds and five assists.

Myles Charvis led the No. 3 Rams with 18 points, 10 rebounds and four assists. Filip Vujadinovic chipped in 17 points and six rebounds and JV Mukama added 10 points.

Ryerson broke through in the fourth quarter by clawing back to outscore the Dinos 21-11 and was within one point with under two minutes to play.

Calgary head coach Dan Vanhooren said his team’s offence was “absolutely horrible” in the fourth.

“I have to give it to Ryerson for their level of play. It felt like we were back in the game last year — they have some resiliency and some great athletes, and we made some great shots,” he said Saturday. “We were fortunate to get out of that one.”

Calgary used a solid first half defensively to give it a 36-24 lead at halftime after the Rams shot just over 22 per cent from the field.

In the other semi, Eddie Ekiyor lead the Ravens with 21 points and 15 rebounds in their victory. Munis Tutu also had 21 points, while adding six rebounds and five assists.

Dalhousie had five players in double digits and was led by Sascha Kappos with 12 points.

The Dinos went undefeated in the regular season and playoffs (26-0) and rallied past the No. 7 Saint Mary’s Huskies 94-78 in their quarterfinal. Carleton defeated No. 8 Alberta 100-60 to advance.

Ryerson will face the Tigers in Sunday’s bronze-medal game. The Rams defeated No. 6 Concordia 87-47 to reach the semifinals while Dalhousie edged No. 4 UBC 74-65.

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