(WOLFVILLE, NS) After clinching a playoff bye last weekend, the Acadia Axewomen improved to 16-2 by edging the visiting UNB Varsity Reds 77-72.
The game was worth 4 points in the AUS standings.
Trailing the VReds for most of the game, Acadia gained their largest lead of five, with 3:27 left in the fourth quarter.
UNB out-shot their hosts, the Varsity Reds were 50.9%, while Acadia was 36.4% from the floor. But, the Axewomen made up for the sluggish shooting percentage with 23 points off turnovers and 20 from second chances.
Acadia head coach Len Harvey will take win, but points out the game wasn't the team's best outing. "We struggled at times to put the ball in the hoop, but our biggest issue was how disconnected we were defensively."
"It is getting to playoff time, and we will really need to tighten the screws up in that area to expect to be a contender for the AUS championship," said Harvey. "We were challenged, we responded, so I am happy with the result, but we still have lots of room to grow."
Out to a 10-4 lead early in the opening quarter, UNB held the Axewomen in check until 7:13 in the second frame when Allie Berry tied the game at 23 on a jump shot.
With a 41-39 halftime lead, the Varsity Reds extended the lead to a game high 12 points at 6:27 in the third quarter on a Rachel Cleary jump shot and a Nicole Lafleur free throw.
On a 10-4 run, the Axewomen closed the gap to 55-49 late in the third frame and closed out the quarter trailing UNB 59-53.
Eight fourth quarter points from Chanel Smith helped tie the game at 65, with 5:30 remaining.
Alyson Fulton sealed the win with a timely three pointer, with 1:38 to play to give Acadia the 77-72 win.
Rachel Cleary led the Varsity Reds with 17 points.
Chanel Smith collected the Subway Player of the Game honours.
UNB will host Acadia, in a re-match, in the last game of the regular season. That will be Saturday, February 27th, at 6:00PM.
Before that, the Varsity Reds host UPEI, on Friday, for a 6:00PM tip off.
RECAP AND PHOTO BY ACADIA ATHLETICS