Axewomen take second loss of season

In the first of a two game weekend, the USPORTS No. 3 Acadia Axewomen defeated the host Saint Mary’s Huskies 78-62.

Acadia ended the first quarter up 21-13 and used a 21-19 second quarter score to take a 10-point lead at half-time, 42-32.

The Axewomen controlled the third quarter with a 17-12 score and led 59-44 after thirty minutes.

The final frame saw Acadia outscore SMU 19-18 in the quarter and the Axewomen took the victory 78-62.

Acadia improves to 15-1 after jumping up one spot in last week’s USports Top 10, while Saint Mary’s drops to 10-6. Both teams have secured playoff spots.

Horton H.S. alum Haley McDonald paced Acadia and all scorers with 18 points and added eight assists in the win while teammate and 5-1 guard Paloma Anderson finished with 15 points and nine assists.

Halifax West alum Chanel Smith  added 14 points and Yarmouth, N.S. native Alexandra Berry had 13 for the Axewomen.

Senior guard Katrina Murrell chipped in 13 points for Saint Mary’s while teammate Kennisha-Shanice Luberisse added 12 points and nine rebounds.

In the second game of the weekend, a 19 point comeback highlighted the Cape Breton Caper’s 84-83 win over the U SPORTS No. 3 ranked Acadia Axewomen. The loss is only the second for the Axewomen this season and comes on the first meeting of both teams this season.

Ahead 51-40 at the half, the Axewomen worked on open lanes and the perimeter to gain a 19 point lead with a 1:48 remaining in the opening half. Alison Keough led the Capers with 11 points at the half and Axewoman Haley McDonald posted a team-high 11 points following one half of play.

The Capers chipped away at the Axewomen lead, posting a 21-18 third quarter win and worked hard on delivering a 23-14 final frame score.

Toni Bianchini and Hannah Brown combined for 14 points in the fourth quarter. Taking their first lead of 70-69 at 7:08 in the fourth on a Bianchini jump shot, the Capers fell quickly behind 79-73 on a three-point shot by Chanel Smith.

A three-point basket by Bianchini with 1:56 remaining in the game, pushed the Capers ahead 80-79 that would extend to 83-79 on a basket from the distant arc by Hannah Brown.

Cape Breton would hold onto the lead for the 84-83 victory.

Subway Player of the Game Alison Keough led the Capers with 19 points and 12 rebounds. Teammate Hannah Brown added 15 points and 10 rebounds, while Valentina Primossi posted 10 points off the bench.

“The first half they got up on us big, by 16, but I think we kept our composure and we didn’t give up, so I think that really kept us in the game. When the storm came, we kept going. This was definitely one of my better shooting nights, but I just try to shoot when I am open and hope they fall,” said Keough following the win.

Paloma Anderson contributed a game-high 20 points, while teammates Haley McDonald and Katie Ross netted 14 and 13 points. Ross also pulled down 11 rebounds and was named the Acadia Player of the Game.

Both teams were even on the boards with 40 rebounds each, but the Capers edged Acadia in field goal percentage. Capers had 19 bench points and 16 points in the paid compared to Acadia’s 28.

Both teams will meet up in their final regular season matchup in Sydney on Friday, February 23. The Axewomen host Dalhousie next Thursday, February 15 for their last home game of the regular season.