WOLFVILLE, NS - Shooting 41.9% from downtown gave Acadia the edge they needed to clinch an 88-82 win over StFX in a four-point game on Friday evening.
It was a fast-paced first quarter, with the StFX X-Men and Acadia Axemen neck-and-neck. A nice jump-shot from Trevon Grant (Nassau, Bahamas) just beat the buzzer to end the first quarter in a 21-14 Acadia lead.
The two teams remained close throughout the second quarter, but foul trouble for the Axemen lead to diminished offensive results with some of Acadia's threats on the bench.
StFX posted 29 points in the second quarter, compared to Acadia's 11. A break away steal and dunk from Kevin Bercy (Kanata, ON) in the last minute of the second frame clinched StFX's 43-32 halftime lead.
Bercy, who tops the league with a 61.9% shooting percentage, led the X-Men with 26 points.
The Axemen came back with 29 points of their own in the third quarter, with Kyle Arsenault (Fredericton NB), Ben Miller (Winnipeg, MB), and A.J. Simmonds (Dartmouth, NS) all putting up points from beyond the arc. Ben Miller shot six for nine from the distant arc, adding to his 31 game points.
Acadia built on their momentum into the fourth quarter, with a dunk from Erik Nissen (Quispamsis, NB), and three back-to-back three point shots from Miller.
A defensive stand from StFX allowed them back into the game, trailing only one point in the closing minutes. A three-point jump shot from fifth year point guard Akil Charles (Glenn Dale, MD) tied the game at 82 with under a minute left on the clock.
But Subway Player of the Game, Ben Miller, kept the Axemen's hopes alive on a three-point shot with just under 19 seconds remaining in regulation time. Miller added three free throws in the closing seconds to give the Axemen an 88-82 win. Miller was six for nine from the distant arc and led all players with 31 points and six assists.
Off the Axemen bench, first year guard Trevon Grant had 10 points and seven rebounds while teammates Erik Nissen and Kyle Arseneault had 13 and 14 points respectively. Nissen led the Axemen in rebounding with nine that included 8 defensive rebounds.
Axemen head coach Kevin Duffie noted the poor performance of his squad during the second quarter was in part due to foul trouble that benched several of his starting five. "We got in a little bit of a lull with some foul trouble in the second quarter but we hung tough. We discussed what our response was going to be, being down by 11 in the opening of the third quarter."
"Our guys had a ton of resolve and came back. They picked the pace up and didn't feel sorry for themselves and stuck together as a group," noted Duffie. "They moved the ball better and got some good shots and made some consistent stops that resulted in a good third quarter and got us back into the game with a favourable ending and results."
The Axemen take on the second-place Dalhousie Tigers Saturday evening in Halifax and then will wrap up the regular season at home in two 4-point games against Memorial next Friday night and Saturday afternoon.
The Axemen, who are tied with StFX with 26 points in fifth place in the standings, have a game-in-hand. The X-Men have four possible points with two games remaining in their schedule next weekend at home against UNB and UPEI.
Source: Laura Jeha, Acadia Athletics Communications Office