By John DeCoste
It was Owen Klassen Saturday and Tyler Scott Sunday as the Acadia basketball Axemen took both ends of a weekend doubleheader from the Memorial SeaHawks in St. John’s, NL.
The Axemen won 105-88 Feb. 2, with Klassen leading the way with 31 points and 10 rebounds in just 27 minutes, then completed the sweep with an 84-63 win Feb. 3, keyed by 28 points, five rebounds and seven steals from Scott.
The results improved Acadia’s regular season record to 11-3, good for 28 points and second place in the AUBC, behind 15-0 Cape Breton.
“You’re always happy when you can leave St John’s with two wins,” Axemen head coach Steve Baur.
On Feb. 2, the Axemen were in control all the way. Acadia shot 55.6 per cent (40-72) from the floor and 59.1 (13-22) from three-point range in the game, and finished with 26 assists, a sign of good variety on offence.
Besides Klassen’s performance, Sean Stoqua chipped in 21 points on 6-8 shooting, including 4-4 from three-point range, and 5-6 from the free throw line. Brad States added 14 points, and Anthony Sears had 11 and Kyle Arseneault nine off the bench.
After the intermission Feb. 3, with Axemen head coach Steve Baur subbing freely and Acadia in cruise control, the SeaHawks took the third quarter 20-16 and the fourth 22-17, but were still 21 points in arrears at the final buzzer.
In addition to Scott’s total, which included 11-14 shooting, 2-4 three-pointers and 5-6 from the foul line, States added 17 points and Jonathan Tull 10.
Acadia shot 44.1 per cent from the floor (to 35.5 for Memorial), was just 6-21 from three-point range (the SeaHawks were 6-18), and attempted 37 free throws, making 26 (Memorial was 13-18). Acadia won the rebounding battle 34-31.
“It was good to get some of our people back and healthy,” Baur said. “Owen was back to full speed, and had a great game Saturday, and Anthony Sears has had his ‘minutes cap’ lifted.”
More than anything, it was nice to get a chance to get the rotation together in time for the stretch run, he added.
The Axemen were still missing Anthony Ashe, who aggravated some muscles in his back in a fall during a game last month at Cape Breton.
“He’s on schedule and there’s a chance he may play this week,” Baur said.
At the beginning of the week, Acadia had six regular season games remaining, starting with Feb. 7, when the Axemen visit St. F.X. for a four-pointer.
Acadia then has three straight games at home – Feb. 12 against Saint Mary’s and Feb. 16-17 against Cape Breton – before finishing up with road games Feb. 20 at SMU and Feb. 23 against Dal.
Baur anticipated all of Acadia’s remaining games would be challenging.
“It’s probably the best way for us to end our schedule, with all our remaining games against playoff-bound teams,” he said.
In their games against Cape Breton, Acadia will be looking to avenge a pair of lopsided (93-72 and 92-61) losses to the Capers last month in Sydney, along with having arguably the best chance to deny the Capers an undefeated regular season.
Even with Cape Breton undefeated, “the AUS is still very competitive,” he said. “There are a lot of teams that will be tough down the stretch, and we’re right in the mix.”