WOLFVILLE, N.S. – Extending their winning streak to three, the Axemen basketball squad picked up a big 4-point win against the U SPORTS No. 10 ranked UNB Varsity Reds on home court.
The first place Varsity Reds hoped to continue their winning ways in 2018, but fell short in an 80-68 loss to the host Acadia Axemen.
With a 45-41 lead at the half, the Axemen pushed out to a commanding 66-50 lead after three quarters on the play of senior shooting guard Nick De Palma who posted 12 third-quarter points that included three timely three-pointers.
Subway Player of the Game Ben Miller added 11 points in the third frame flurry as the Axemen out-scored the V-Reds 21-9.
"The shooters were making their shots tonight, especially in the second half, Nick De Palma got going and the 'bigs' were really great to me, making it easy out there for me," said Miller following the game.
With Rhys Larry and Erik Nissen protecting the rim, Miller was asked how their play affected his on-ball defense when trying to be aggressive on defense. "It gives you a lot of freedom. You can make a mistake and Erik has your back or Rhys has your back. It makes it a lot easier on us guards," noted Miller.
While the Varsity Reds won the battle for the paint with 20 points versus Acadia's 10, the Axemen bettered UNB with a 41.8 field goal percentage. The Varsity Reds struggled with 26% from the distant arc compared to Acadia's 37%.
Miller scored a game-high 22 points, while teammates Nick De Palma and Erik Nissen listed 15 and 12 points respectively. Off the bench, Trevon Grant added 12 points and three assists while Jerome Mugambi posted 10 points at opportune times.
UNB's Javon Masters had a team-high 19 points and newcomer Ibrahima Doumbouya posted an impressive game of 14 points and team-high of eight rebounds.
The Axemen host the UPEI Panthers tomorrow evening, while the Varsity Reds had to Halifax to take on the host Dalhousie Tigers for bragging rights for first place in the AUS. Both games begin at 8:00 p.m.