Axewomen down Huskies to advance to AUS championship final

Photo by Nick Pearce
Photo by Nick Pearce

(HALIFAX, N.S.) In Saturday afternoon's first women's semifinal matchup of the Subway AUS Women's Basketball Championship, the No. 1-seeded Acadia Axewomen earned a 65-43 victory over the fourth-seeded Saint Mary's Huskies.

Acadia guard and AUS Second Team All-Star Haley McDonald (Port Williams, N.S.) led the Axewomen, posting a game-high 17 points and adding five rebounds, two assists, and two steals. McDonald earned Subway Player of the Game honours for her efforts.

The Axewomen came out hot in the first quarter, taking off to an 11-4 lead with under five minutes remaining in the frame. Acadia's strong defence was apparent in the quarter, holding the Huskies to just 29.4% shooting from the field.

The Huskies went on a six-point run at the end of the first frame to put them within two, as the Axewomen held a 12-10 edge after 10 minutes of play.

Kennisha-Shanice Luberisse (Montreal, Que.) led the Huskies in the first with six points and five rebounds, while Acadia's Allie Berry (Yarmouth, N.S.) led the Axewomen after the first with four points, five rebounds, and one assist.

Things remained close throughout the start of the second, until the Axewomen scored nine unanswered points to hold a 30-19 lead with just over two minutes remaining in the frame.  The Axewomen held on for a 32-21 edge at the half, with McDonald accumulating all of her 17 points in the first 20 minutes of play.

The Axewomen continued to extend their lead throughout the third, as two successful free-throws from Berry put Acadia ahead 44-27 with just two minutes remaining in the frame.

Down 48-27 with just 10 minutes to play in regulation, Saint Mary's looked for the comeback, but were unable to complete it as the Axewomen held on for the 65-43 victory.

Berry finished with nine points, adding 13 rebounds, three blocks and two assists to earn Wilson's Security Defensive Player of the Game honours.

AUS Most Valuable Player winner Paloma Anderson (Phoenix, Arizona) added 14 points for Acadia in the victory, along with seven rebounds, five assists and three steals, with teammate Chanel Smith (Halifax, N.S.) adding 10 points.

Katrina Murrell (Markham, Ont.) finished with a team-high 13 points for Saint Mary's, adding three rebounds, three assists, and three steals. Luberisse added 12 points for Saint Mary's, adding seven rebounds.

Acadia now moves on to the Subway AUS Women's Championship Game Sunday at 1 p.m. at the Scotiabank Centre. The Axewomen will face the UPEI Panthers who defeated the Cape Breton Capers by a score of 78-73 in today's second semifinal matchup.

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