WOLFVILLE, N.S. - The Axewomen took their home opener against the UPEI Panthers 73-70 on Friday night in the first of two games against UPEI at home this weekend.
The evening started off with a tribute to Acadia's outstanding 2017-2018 women's basketball season and the raising of their AUS championship banner from the 2018 AUS championship.
The Axewomen began the game shooting very well and outscoring their opponents 17-7 through the first 10 minutes.
Jane McLaughlin (Fortune, P.E.I.) of the UPEI Panthers lead the first quarter with 6 of her team's 7 points.
The Panthers entered the second quarter looking to improve on their first quarter performance. Jenna Mae Ellsworth (Charlottetown, P.E.I) took charge of her team and closed off the half with an astounding 18 points.
The score going into the third quarter was set at 33-27. Though the Axewomen maintained their lead, the scoring differential halved over the second quarter.
The Panthers continued their push throughout the third quarter, bringing themselves within one point. Ellsworth added 10 in the quarter to bring her game total to 28.
The Axemen still lead the game after three quarters 50-49.
With the Panthers hot on their heels, the Axewomen knew that they would have to find a way to shut down their high-scoring players.
Scoring went back and forth all throughout the fourth quarter, making for an exciting finish.
Reese Baxendale (Apohaqui, N.B) had an opportunity to tie the game for the Panthers in the last few seconds. After successfully stealing the ball and breaking down the court, her three-pointer attempt did not go in, and the Panthers would miss their last chance to force overtime.
The Panthers did not manage to make a three-point shot on any of their 14 chances; the Axewomen were 9 for 20 from the arch.
Following the game, Field pointed out how tough the conference is and how she was happy with her game and the support her team gave her this past week after a slow start against Saint Mary's last weekend.
"Every night it's very tough and every game you can either win or lose. It's tough out here. I struggled the first two games coming out, so I kind of let the game come to me today and I had my teammates to fall back on to support me in the struggle the first two games, so I made sure I brought it today."
The final score of the game was 73-70 for the Axewomen.
Ellsworth had an incredible game for the Panthers, scoring 37 points. It comes as no surprise that she was named her team's Subway Player of the Game.
The Panthers and Axewomen were close in most statistical categories except points from the 3-point line where UPEI were unsuccessful in draining any threes and 29 points from the Acadia bench.
Both teams will rest up and meet again in the War Memorial Gymnasium Saturday evening.
Submitted by Theodore Giesen, Acadia Athletics Communications