Thursday, 4 November 2010

Acadia 97, Saint Mary's 90

6'6" Justin Boutilier's driving lay-up into the teeth of the Saint Mary's interior "d" with about 2 1/2 minutes left gave the Axemen the lead for good and started a game-clinching 8-0 run as Acadia came up with a large road win at the Tower.  The Axemen had built leads as large as 13 points in the second half led by the multi-skilled Boutilier and a strong performance by 6'3" guard Anthony Sears (28 points, 1-9 3's but 11-13 free throws) but the Huskies came back led by the athleticism of 6'3" Harry Ezenibe,who led Saint Mary's with several huge, momentum-changing blocks inside. 

The game was tied at 87 with under 3 minutes to play when Ezenibe (15 points, 11 rebounds, credit for only 2 blocks but had to have at least 5 or more) produced a slick post move which ended in a slam attempt from the low blocks followed by a pair of free throws.  Ezenibe made 1 of 2 to give Saint Mary's their final lead and then Boutilier made his big play.  Sears later went 6 for 6 from the line in the final moments to clinch the outcome.  Boutilier had 22 points and 10 boards for the Axemen.

The Huskies used their transition game to jump out to an early first half lead but the Axemen were able to tie the game at 28 and then went on an 10-2 run to take their largest lead of the half at 38-30 as Boutilier began getting into the lane of the dribble and Sears knocked down a 3.  6'2" Migel Pink's three against Acadia pressure broke some of the Axemen's momentum however a jumper by Sears that may or may not have beat the halftime buzzer allowed the Axemen to lead by 7 at 46-39 at the break.

Acadia then built a double digit lead midway through the third as, despite threes from 6'1" Joey Haywood and 6'3" Demitri Harris, Acadia answered Huskie every run; a Boutilier break away dunk off a scramble gave Acadia a 13 point lead.  Later Boutilier hit a 3 of his own and Sears added a three after Acadia shredded Saint Mary's full court pressure and the Axemen led comfortably.

But Saint Mary's had one run left, led by Ezenibe, who knocked down a three, then had a block that led to a Harris lay-up and the resulting 10-2 run bridging the third and fourth re-tied the game for the first time since midway through the second.  Later Haywood hit another three and Saint Mary's finally got the lead back and, seemingly, the momentum.  But Acadia, led by Boutilier and Sears, were undetered, setting up the final 3 minutes.

The game was choppy with some flow in the second half however both teams generally treated the defensive end with passion of a summer league game with the noteable exception of the quick leaping and exciting Ezenibe, who came from the weak side several times for highlight reel pin-ups.

Haywood led all scorers with 30 points on 12-18 shooting but turned it over 7 times while 6'4" Torey Fassett added 18 points/7 rebounds and Harris had 15 in a nice performance. 

6'5" Sinclair Brown came off the bench for Acadia to finish with 10 points and 11 rebounds in 28 minutes, getting more run tonight as 6'8" Owen Klassen (17 points in only 18 minutes) battled foul trouble all evening.

Box Score  plus Monty Mosher's piece in Halifax Chronicle-Herald

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