Klassen hoops 25 as Axemen nip SMU 75-74

John Decoste
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Acadia’s Owen Klassen, shown here in action against UPEI, is enjoying another solid season in his fifth and final year at Acadia. Klassen had 11 of his game-high 25 points inn the fourth quarter of Acadia’s 75-74 win over Saint Mary’s Tuesday evening in Halifax, including scoring Acadia’s final five points. (John DeCoste)

Every game is important, but most teams agree a win on the road is extra special, particularly if you’ve had to come from behind to get it.

The Acadia basketball Axemen picked up a key four-point win on the road Jan. 28 in Halifax, coming from behind to nip the Saint Mary’s Huskies 75-74.

The four-point victory improved first-place Acadia’s season record to 10-3, good for 30 points and an eight-point bulge on UPEI, Saint Mary’s and St. F.X. who were tied for second with 22 points.

A pair of free throws by Owen Klassen with 9.8 seconds left on the clock accounted for the winning points. Saint Mary’s got off a last-second shot that could have won the game, but it was off the mark.

Klassen led the way with 25 points and 12 rebounds for Acadia, which jumped out to a 19-8 lead after one quarter.

The Huskies, however, wouldn’t go away, winning the second quarter 20-17 and the third 26-15 for a 54-51 lead after 30 minutes.

The Axemen regrouped, led by Klassen who had 11 of his 25 points in the final 10 minutes, to capture the fourth quarter 24-20 and escape with a one-point victory.

Besides Klassen, Acadia also got strong performances from Anthony Ashe (12 points), Anthony Sears (11 points) and Kyle Arseneault (10 points). As a team, the Axemen shot 43.5 per cent and made 11 of their 27 three-point attempts.

Brian Rouse led a balanced scoring attack for the Huskies with 16 points off the bench. Marquis Clayton added 13, Theon Reefer and Terrence Taylor 12, Harry Ezenibe 11 and Boyd Vassell 10.

“We were pleased with our execution down the stretch,” Axemen head coach Steve Baur said. “We were able to get good quality possessions, and something we can build on heading into the stretch run.”

The Axemen “gave up too much defensively. (The Huskies) shot too many free throws due to our breakdowns,” Baur said. “That will haunt us if we can’t correct it quickly.”

In the women’s game that followed, the top-ranked Huskies overcame a slow start to score an 86-58 win and improve to 14-0 on the season. The Axewomen fell to 4-9.

Acadia led 17-13 after one quarter, but Saint Mary’s got rolling with an 18-7 second quarter and put the game away with a 32-15 third. The Huskies also won the fourth quarter, but by a closer 23-19 margin.

Aprille Deus led all scorers with 25 points on 10-15 shooting, including five threes, and added three assists and two steals. Abbey Duinker contributed 15 points and seven rebounds, and Maire Burke had five points and a team-high nine boards.

Justine Colley led the Huskies with 19 points along with 11 rebounds, seven assists and five steals. Emily Jameson added 14, Rachelle Coward 12 and Carlie Nugent 11.

Geographic location: Saint Mary, Halifax

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