(WOLFVILLE, N.S.) Matched up against the league-leading CIS No. 9 ranked UNB Varsity Reds, the Acadia Axemen fell short in posting an upset with a 79-74 loss. Acadia led by as many as four with just over six minutes remaining in the first quarter - their largest lead of the game.
The Axemen ended the opening quarter with a 22-21 edging of the V-Reds. In the second quarter, UNB would outscore Acadia 19-13 and held a five point advantage going into halftime, 40-35.
It was the Varsity Reds' stingy defense that held the Axemen to only 13 points. On the night, UNB forced 16 turnovers resulting in 24 points. The lead would be extended to ten at the end of the third quarter on a pair of UNB free throws.
Acadia put together a strong fourth quarter led by third year guard Sean Stoqua (Ottawa, Ont.), who began the fourth with a triple; a jumper and later hit back-to-back triples to tie the game 64-64. Named Acadia's Subway Player of the Game, Stoqua finished the game with 24 points on 7-13 shooting from the field.
With 19 seconds remaining in the game Acadia trailed by four when Shaquille Smith (North Preston, N.S) was fouled on a three-point attempt. Smith missed the shot but then made two of his three free throws - two of his 18 points on the night.
A foul on the rebound sent Will McFee (Northbridge, AUS) to the line and would seal a thriller for UNB as Acadia fell 79-74 in front of an enthusiastic crowd of just under 1000 in attendance.
McFee had 15 points, while UNB Subway Player of the Game Javon Masters (Kitchener, Ont.) had 20 points and four rebounds. Masters, first in AUS and CIS in points per game scoring and last year's AUS and CIS Rookie of the Year was crucial down the stretch of the game for UNB. Ryan Smith (Dalhousie, N.B) added 14 points and seven rebounds in the win.
Acadia will host UNB again tomorrow night as these two teams complete a back to back matchup at War Memorial Gymnasium.
With files from Ashley Hasler, Acadia Sports Information