WOLFVILLE, N.S. — The Acadia Axemen held on to win against the UPEI Panthers by a score of 80-78 during Saturday night's 4-point game.
The Axemen and the Panthers went back and forth in the first quarter, with neither team having a clear advantage. The score after the first 10 minutes read 15-14 for Acadia.
Acadia's Ryan Munro (Timberlea, N.S.) shot three of five from deep in the first half. On his sixth attempt in the dying seconds of the half, he was fouled and sent to the line three times. Munro hit all three of his free throws and gave Acadia a 38-31 lead to enter the break. Monro led all players at half with 12 points.
The Panthers were more reserved with their three-point attempts, taking only 4 in the first half and making 2. The Axemen, on the other hand, took 13 and made 3.
Acadia came out strong in the second half, putting up 27 points in the third quarter. Brett Speedy (Fredericton, N.B.) made several three-pointers in the quarter to increase Acadia's lead.
After 30 minutes of play, the score favoured Acadia 65-53.
The Panthers dominated in the fourth quarter, tying the game up with two minutes left to play. Acadia's advantage had been taken away and it was anyone's game.
With 8 seconds left the Axemen were up by just 2 points and held possession thanks to an offensive board by Forest Mahoney (Beachburg, Ont.). The Panthers intentionally fouled Munro, who hit both of his free throws.
The Panthers found themselves down by 4 with 7 seconds left.
With a timeout, the Panthers were able to inbound the ball in the offensive zone. The ball was given to Elijah Miller (Etobicoke, Ont.) who was immediately double-teamed. Despite having two Acadia defenders on him, Miller was able to hit the corner three and bring the game within 1.
Miller was a problem for the Axemen all night, scoring 29 points to lead all players. Miller was named his team's player of the game.
The Axemen immediately inbounded the ball to Mahoney, who was fouled and sent to the line. He hit his first attempt, and after he missed his second attempt, the Panthers had a mere 2 seconds to bring the ball down court and hit a shot. With no timeouts remaining, the Panthers were forced to attempt a full-court shot which missed.
The Axemen barely took this game by a score of 80-78.
Mahoney came up big for the Axemen in the fourth quarter, grabbing offensive rebounds and blocking shots when it mattered. He finished the game with 17 points, 8 rebounds, and 2 blocks. His late-game performance earned him the Subway Player of the Game award.
"It was huge. After every game, we have been feeling like we should have had it. I think we have been playing well the last games, especially the first three that we lost. It really feels great to win this one. We have three left now and we have been talking about which ones we need to win… it doesn't really matter, it's every single one," said Mahoney following the game.
The Axemen will visit Cape Breton for two games next weekend, while the Panthers head to Dalhousie for two games as well.
Recap and photos by Acadia Athletics Communications