HALIFAX, N.S. (from Acadia Axemen) – The Acadia Axemen completed a weekend sweep over the Memorial Sea-Hawks on Sunday afternoon with a 78-65 victory at The Field House and improve to 12-2 – tied for first place in the AUS and clinch a playoff berth.
After a difficult loss the night before, Memorial had a desire to come out stronger against the Axemen. Memorial was able to take an early lead in the first, allowing a usually strong Acadian offense to sputter coming out of the gates, only allowing 16 points, on a poor 25% shooting from the field. The second quarter was more competitive as the two teams finished the half tied, 37-37.
The Axemen came out of the half-time break looking like the top seed in the AUS. It was a difficult scoring frame for the Sea-Hawks, posting only 12 points in the third, while allowing 20 from Acadia. The second half was the downfall for the Hawks, as the Axemen posted 20 or more points in the final two quarters to cement their lead.
Memorial was able to cut it down to single digits at certain times, but Acadia just kept their foot on the gas and powered through to get the two-game sweep. Erik Nissen had a monster game, posting 16 points and an incredible 19 rebounds. Acadia also had multiple players post double-digit points, balancing scoring efforts across the team.
Erik Nissen, named the Player of the Game, posted 16 points and an astonishing 19 rebounds. Rhys Larry, Nick De Palma and Trevon Grant posted 15, 13 and 12 points respectively. De Palma took three quarters of the game to finally break former Axeman Peter Leighton’s Acadia all-time record of three-point baskets scored.
Memorial was sorely missing Nathan Barker this weekend and his scoring prowess. Multiple Sea-Hawks tried to balance the loss, but it was a great challenge to undertake. Daniel Gordon was just as important for the Hawks, leading both games in points (19 on Sunday). Davion Parnsalu took up his role as the main guard as well as some of Barker’ loss, posting solid numbers in the series. Unfortunately for Memorial, the loss of Barker was felt on both ends of the floor, on top of the already demanding challenge facing such a strong Acadia team.
The men will certainly look to gain ground in the standings facing off against UPEI on the 3rd and 4th of February away from home. Each game will be worth four points in the standings, while the Axemen host Saint Mary’s on Thursday at 8 p.m. as a rescheduled game from early January.