WOLFVILLE, N.S. - The Acadia Axemen defeated the Saint Mary's University Huskies 79-69 in the last game of the regular season. The victory was a 4pt. win in the standings.
The Axemen and the Huskies played a tight first quarter. The Huskies were able to squeeze out a 17-16 lead after 10 minutes of play.
Acadia was able to bounce back to take a 37-30 lead in the second quarter. Marcus Upshaw (Burlington, Ont.) led the Axemen with 9 points while Tristan Hyde (Bedford, N.S.) and Travis Adams (Halifax, N.S.) both had 6 points for the Huskies.
The Axemen added two points to their lead by the end of the third quarter, setting the score at 57-48. Entering the fourth, Upshaw had 20 points for the Axemen to lead all players. He would finish with 25 points, 4 rebounds, and 2 assists.
Acadia's sharpshooter Alex Muise (Bedford, N.S.) got the crowd going at the start of the fourth with a corner three, giving the Axemen a double-digit lead.
With 5 minutes left, SMU's Qyemah Gibson (Nassau, Bahamas) drove through the paint and sprang up for a two-handed dunk.
Saint Mary's Johneil Johnson (Lake Echo, N.S.) finished with a team-high 15 points and made all 7 of his free-throw attempts. Johnson was named his team's player of the game.
Despite their best efforts, the Huskies were unable to complete a comeback against the Axemen. Acadia held on to win 79-69.
Acadia's big-man Forest Mahoney (Beachburg, Ont.) checked out of his last home game as an Axemen with 14 points and 10 rebounds for the game's only double-double. Mahoney shut down the Huskies in the fourth quarter and helped secure the win for the Axemen. Mahoney was given the Subway Player of the Game award.
"We knew it's not the same as any other game coming in, we have to rely on luck either way. Our message from coach was really just to play hard, either way, every possession we have to be in the gaps, rebound, we have to do the little things that we have not necessarily done in every game this season. We did it today and we got the win", Mahoney said following the win.
The Axemen finish the season with a record of 7-13. The Huskies end the season at 11-9.
The Axemen's playoff hopes stay alive with the win and now they will hope for a two-game series split between the UPEI Panthers and Memorial this weekend in St. John's, Nfld. to squeeze into the AUS Championship playoffs next weekend.