Axemen squeeze past X-Men 75-73

Photo courtesy Acadia sports information
Photo courtesy Acadia sports information

WOLFVILLE, N.S. – Erik Nissen's two-point fade away shot with 2.7 seconds remaining in the game gave the Axemen a close 75-73 win over the visiting StFX X-Men.

A capacity crowd of over 1200 fans was entertained from beginning to end as the last second victory gave the Axemen a 3-1 regular season series record between the provincial rivals.

Down 17-8 with just under four minutes remaining in the opening quarter, the X-Men battled back to tie the game at 20-20 on a Daniel Passley lay-up. A Masson Middaugh jump shot with 47 seconds remaining, gave Acadia a 22-20 lead after 10 minutes of play.

Cameron Walker's jump shot tied the game at 22, 38 seconds into the second quarter. Tristen Ross' basket, less than a minute later, gave StFX their first lead of the game at 24-22.

StFX stretched the lead to 32-25, but Acadia's Nick De Palma pulled the Axemen within reach with his first three-pointer of the night. Acadia were unable to regain the lead before the conclusion of the first half, with StFX clinging to a 40-35 advantage into the locker room.

The X-Men maintained the lead for most of the third quarter until third-year guard Mitch Tempro's lay-up gave the Axemen a 57-56 lead that they would hold until 1:46 remaining in regulation time when Kevin Bercy's lay-up tied the game at 71 points apiece.

Then the fun began.

Justin Andrew gave the X-Men a 73-71 lead on a lay-up. Acadia's Trevon Grant then took a Ben Miller pass to the hoop for two points for the tie. Tristen Ross fouled him on the play but Grant missed the lone foul shot, and the game remained tied at 73.

Following a StFX time-out, StFX's Bercy inbounded the ball only to be turned over by a great defensive effort by Erik Nissen and Trevon Grant. With the ball advanced on the Acadia time-out, a failed attempt to tie the game gave the Axemen the ball back on the StFX baseline after an X player tipped the ball out of bounds.

With 2.7 seconds remaining, Miller passed the ball inbounds to Nissen who pulled a post move that turned into a fade away shot for the basket to win.

But wait – with 0.2 seconds remaining on the clock, an attempt to throw the ball the length of the court by StFX at their baseline failed, but an unintentional early buzzer voided the play. The X-Men had another opportunity to try the full court shot, but they were blocked on their in-bounds shot attempt.

Game over.

Subway Player of the Game Ben Miller noted what adjustments were made following the halftime.

"We tried to fix our ball screen defense. We still have a lot of work to do on that and we fixed it a bit in the second half but we need to do better on that," said Miller following the game.

When final team stats were compared at games end, only three-point shots made by Acadia was a distinct difference with the Axemen draining six compared to StFX's two.

The X-Men posted 42 points in the paint compared to Acadia's 26 and the Axemen dropped 32 points off the bench.

StFX's Kevin Bercy posted a game-high 22 points, while teammates Davante Provo and Daniel Passley (off the bench) added 20 and 15 points, respectively.

The hometown Axemen had three individuals who scored in double-digit range including Miller with 19, Erik Nissen with 16 and Trevon Grant adding 12. Senior post Rhys Larry pulled down 10 rebounds.

The Axemen return to action next Friday and Saturday as they host UNB and UPEI, respectively, for two four-point games. StFX will head to Saint Mary's on Wednesday for a four-point game.


Courtesy Acadia Sports Information