WOLFVILLE, N.S. - The Acadia Axemen basketball squad improves to 2-3 with an 85-68 win over the visiting CIS No. 8 ranked Cape Breton Capers at the first of a two game home stand where the Axemen will face Dalhousie tomorrow night.
Acadia held onto the lead for the entire game except for a moment in the second quarter when Caper Akeem Isaac-Philip drained a three point shot to give Cape Breton a one point lead that was erased quickly by a basket from the distant arc from rookie guard Ben Miller.
Holding onto a two point 16-14 lead over the Capers after one quarter, the Axemen pushed the margin to seven points at the five minute mark of the second frame when AJ Simmonds sank the first of four three pointers.
With a 33-28 Acadia lead over the Capers after one half, fourth year Axeman Shaquille Smith, the eventual Subway Player of the Game, opened the flood gates with 17 second half points that included three 3-pointers, while shooting six for seven from the floor.
The Capers, who were 39% from the floor, remained in close proximity during the third quarter. Kayon Mayers who logged 11 minutes in the first half without any points, added 10 second half points to keep Cape Breton within striking distance during the third quarter.
Trailing only by five at the six minute mark of the third frame, Cape Breton lost ground and eventually fell 11 points behind with three minutes remaining in the third. Three pointers from AJ Simmonds, Ben Miller and Gianmarco Lucian spearheaded Acadia's 10-4 run late in the third.
After three quarters, Acadia held onto a 59-50 lead and allowed Cape Breton to come within five points only two minutes into the final period off of a Vishal Banipal three pointer.
Acadia pushed the lead to 12 points on a Kyle Arseneault three point shot with over five minutes remaining in the game. The lead would drop as low as eight but eventually lead to a convincing 85-68 win after a 12-3 run in the closing minutes of the annual Shoot for the Cure basketball weekend opening game.
Capers Kayon Mayers, Meshack Lufile and Akeem Isaac-Philip each had a team high ten points, while Seth Amoah added nine.
Statistically both teams were very close except the Axemen excelled from the three point line, sinking 15 of 31 attempts compared to the Capers' 9 for 24. Acadia was also 14 for 18 from the charity strip, while Cape Breton was 11 for 19.
Acadia netted 20 points, including 10 in the final frame, from turnovers, compared to the Capers' 12. The Axemen also had 21 points from second chance opportunities.
The Axemen win was led by Shaquille Smith, who tops the Axemen's scoring list this season so far with 20.4 points per game average. Smith posted a game high 23 points that included four three pointers and seven rebounds. AJ Simmonds, Nick Ernest and Kyle Arseneault had 14, 12 and 10 points respectively.
The Capers fall to 2-3 after losses to UPEI and Acadia, while the Axemen improve to 2-3 with the four point win against the Capers and a win on the road last week against StFX. Acadia will face Dalhousie tomorrow night and the Capers head to Halifax to take on Saint Mary's.