WOLFVILLE, N.S. - Paloma Anderson's (Phoenix, Arizona) 19 first half points catapulted the Axewomen basketball team to a 63-33 first half lead and eventual 97-75 win over the first place and U SPORTS No. 10 ranked Cape Breton Capers. The Acadia win handed the Capers only their third loss of the regular season.
A 10-2 run in the opening period pushed the Axewomen to a 24-12 lead with just under two minutes remaining in the quarter. Ending the first quarter with a 31-16 advantage, the Axewomen continued to push a quick offensive transition game with the Capers trailing in defensive end.
At a 37-24 Acadia lead early in the second frame, Anderson, Chanel Smith (Halifax, N.S.) and Haley MacDonald (Port Williams, N.S.) teamed up with threes plus an Allie Berry (Yarmouth, N.S.) layup to push the lead to 45-26. MacDonald would close out the first half with two buckets from the distant arc to give the Axewomen a shocking 63-33 lead.
The Capers worked back from a 30-point deficit on the back of Natasha Roach's five three point baskets in the third quarter, but only managed to close the gap to 16 points on Roach's last three-point bucket.
With 32 points racked up in just over three quarters of play, Anderson was put on the bench with five minutes remaining in the game, falling short of her 41-point game and Axewomen record set last January 20th versus StFX.
The Axewomen dominated most if not all statistical categories including an impressive 55.7% field goal percentage and 30 points from the paint. Acadia was 57.1% from the three-point line and pulled down 42 rebounds of which 30 were defensive boards.
Off the bench, first year guard Haley MacDonald recorded 18 points that included four timely three point buckets.
Fourth year guard Chanel Smith, who netted 16 points and added 12 defensive rebounds, noted that the team prepared well for the match-up against the first place Capers.
"We just turned up the compete level at practices this week and we knew we had to do it", said Smith. "Everybody was tuned-in all week and we paid a lot of attention to detail. Everyone confided in their own game and it showed tonight. We had points across the entire board."
When asked what the demeanor of the team was like in the locker room after posting a 63-33 lead at the half, Smith pointed out that "we were pretty hyped".
"We had to keep up our intensity and we couldn't take our foot off the pedal", said Smith.
Capers' leading scorer Alison Keough (Marion Bridge, N.S.) was limited to 13 points but dominated the boards with 12 rebounds. Jalynn Skeir(Halifax, N.S.), who found herself guarding Acadia's Anderson for most of the night, had a team high 18 points, while teammates Natasha Roach (Roxboro, Que.) and Hannah Brown (North Sydney, N.S.) had 15 and 10 points respectively.
The Axewomen, who have struggled this month after a two losses last weekend against UPEI and UNB, improve to 6-8 and will host the Capers for a second game of the weekend tomorrow afternoon at 1:00 p.m.
The Capers, who found themselves landing on the U Sports Top Ten for the first time this season at No. 10, drop to 12-3 and remain in first place in the AUS standings, two points ahead of the trailing Saint Mary's Huskies.