WOLFVILLE, N.S. (from Acadia Axewomen) – The Acadia faithful witnessed the U Sports No. 1 ranked Axewomen’s first loss of the regular season in an 88-68 defeat. Down by five at the half, Acadia was unable to make their trademark second-half comeback and fell behind by as much as 23 points at the 9:05 mark of the second half.
Despite the effort made by fans in cheering on the favourite in front of a near-capacity hometown crowd, the UPEI Panthers dominated defensively in the second half and seemed unchallenged at times on offense.
Player of the Game Kiera Rigby drained a game-high 25 points for the four-point win.
Shooting 30.9 field goal percentage, the Axewomen struggled to keep up to the Panthers’ ease of posting 42.1% from the distant arc and 47% from the floor.
The Axewomen, who have averaged over 31% from the three-point line, netted 15.6% of their three-point shot attempts.
Tied at 15 in the closing seconds of the opening frame, Jenna Mae Ellsworth’s two made free throws ended the first quarter.
Early in the second quarter, Katie Ross’ made three-point basket gave the Axewomen their last lead of the game at 18-17.
The Panthers extended the lead to 35-30 at the half and pushed out to a commanding 63-46 advantage on a 28-16 third-quarter scoring spree on the back of Reese Baxendale’s 12 points.
Baxendale netted 19 points and Ellsworth added 16 points, while teammate Carolina Del Santo led all on the court with 20 rebounds.
Paloma Anderson posted an Acadia high 17 points, and Chanel Smith added 15 points and 13 rebounds. Allie Berry and Haley MacDonald posted 13 points apiece.
The Axewomen remain in first place in the AUS women’s basketball conference with an 11-1 record and will head to Memorial next weekend for two games. The Panthers improve to 6-6 and are 10 points behind Acadia in fifth place.