WOLFVILLE, N.S. – In their first meeting since last year's epic battle in the AUS semi-finals, the hometown Acadia Axemen edged past the U SPORTS No. 5 ranked Dalhousie Tigers, handing them their first loss of the regular season.
Trailing the Tigers 10-2 in the opening three minutes, the Axemen worked back to tie the game early in the second quarter, when Eli Kraushar drained a three-point shot to tie the game at 24.
A timely three-point shot at 5:31 in the second by Nick De Palma gave the Axemen a 29-24 lead. At the half, the Axemen held on to a slim 42-38 advantage.
The lead would remain in Acadia's hands until Jordan Brathwaite's basket from the distant arc with 3:30 remaining in the third quarter, gave the Tigers short-lived 50-48 lead.
Ben Miller replied to Brathwaite's three with a three point basket of his own to return the advantage to the Axemen at 51-50.
The Axemen would hold onto a lead for the duration of the game, posting their largest lead of 11 points 7:40 of the last quarter.
A tight game from beginning to end, both teams shared similar statistics with only a difference in point from the bench. The Axemen's bench offered 29 points compared to the tiger's 14.
Dalhousie almost tripled the Axemen in points off of turnovers of 16 compared to Acadia's six.
Dalhousie's Sven Stammberger scored a game high 20 points that included four from the three-point line. Stammberger also posed a team high seven rebounds. Sascha Kappos added 15 points to the team total.
Ben Miller led the Axemen with 13 points. Five Axemen, including Miller, posted double digit scoring including Erik Nissen who had 12 point snad a game high 13 rebounds – 10 of which were defensive rebounds.
Off the bench, Nick De Palma recorded 12 points – all of which were timely three point baskets. Thomas Johnson, named the Subway Player of the Game, had 10 points, nine boards and five assists for the Axemen.
"I thought we did a good job focusing on transition defense, protecting the paint and defensive rebounding. It's always nice to beat a top five team in the country, especially protecting your home court. We now have to focus on taking care of our bodies and recover and get ready to play them at their place on Saturday", said Johnson following he game.
Acadia remains undefeated with a 4-0 record, while Dalhousie drops to 4-1. The Axemen and Tigers will square off again this Saturday evening at 8:00 p.m. at Dalhousie's Dalplex.