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Tigers move into first after win over Axemen

Photo Courtesy of Acadia Athletics
Photo Courtesy of Acadia Athletics

WOLFVILLE N.S. – The Acadia Axemen were faced off against the 3-1 Dalhousie Tigers Saturday night at War Memorial Gymnasium in a four-point matchup to wrap up the CIS Shoot for the Cure weekend in Wolfville. The Tigers handed Acadia a 77-57 loss and now fall into first place in the AUS standings based on points with a 4-1 record; however, the UNB Varsity Reds remain undefeated with a 6-0 record.

The Tigers gained a six-point advantage at the end of the first quarter and led 21-15 at the end of one quarter of action. Acadia's perimeter shooting would keep them in the game throughout the first half, as Dalhousie's defense had no answer for seven Acadia triples. The Axemen trailed by five 33-38 heading into the intermission.

It was veteran fourth year forward Shaquille Smith who led the Axemen at half time with eight points. Ben Miller, Sean Stoqua and Gianmarco Luciani all contributed six points. Devon Stedman had eight points for Dalhousie at the half.

In the third both team's battled aggressively but a 14-0 Tigers run pushed Dalhousie's lead to 15. Smith ended the run with 38 seconds left in frame but Dalhousie would still take a 58-43 advantage into the final quarter of action.

Acadia's scoring trouble continued in the fourth, as they did not score a bucket until there was 6:30 remaining in the game. Despite a 19 point performance from Smith the Axemen fell 77-57 as the clock expired.

In the win, Ritchie Kanza Mata had 19 points, six rebounds and five steals, earning him the Subway Player of the Game award for his team. Jarred Reid added 13 points and five rebounds for the Tigers while Kashrell Lawrence netted 12 points and Devon Stedman had ten points and five boards.

Acadia shot a dismal 31% from the field compared to the Tigers' 46% and free throw percentages were far from perfect for the Axemen with 57% from the charity strip. Dalhousie netted 80% of their free throws and added pain to the problem with 15 points off of second chances compared to Acadia's six.

This Thursday night, Acadia will host Saint Mary's wrap up their schedule before the break. Dalhousie will travel to face UPEI on January 9th when AUS basketball action returns.

Courtesy of Ashley Hasler, Acadia Sports Information Office