(Halifax, N.S.)—The USPORTS No. 10th ranked Saint Mary's Huskies defeated the Acadia Axewomen 59-58 Saturday night in AUS women's basketball action from the Homburg Centre.
Up 15 points after a 20-5 first quarter, the Huskies found themselves outscored in the second quarter 18-12, as Acadia's run trimmed SMU's lead to nine, 32-23 at half.
A 25-10 third quarter score saw the Axewomen take a 48-42 lead after thirty minutes.
Saint Mary's hit two free throws in the opening ten seconds of the final frame and trailed 48-44.
Both teams traded jump shots and Acadia led 50-46 with 8:49 left in the fourth quarter.
A Huskies free-throw and an Acadia layup saw the Axewomen up 52-47 with 7:03 remaining.
Acadia nailed a three-pointer for a 55-47 lead with 5:22 left to play.
A Saint Mary's layup and two free-throws had the Huskies down four, 55-51 with 4:13 left.
Acadia hit their lone foul-shot of the quarter and built a 56-51 lead when an Axewomen layup with 2:09 left had Acadia up 58-51.
SMU hit a three-pointer and three foul-shots set the stage for a 58-57 Axewomen lead with 16 seconds left.
Courtney Cain-Nordin's (Halifax, N.S.) game-winner came with eight seconds left, as the Huskies used a time-out to draw up a play for a 10-foot shot.
Acadia called timeout and with 5.9 seconds could not get a shot off as SMU smothered the ball and held-on for the 59-58 win.
Paloma Anderson (Phoenix, Arizona) paced all scorers with 20 points in the loss for Acadia, who drop to 7-9 and control the sixth and final play-off spot with 18 points.
A trio of Axewomen - Alexandra Berry (Yarmouth, N.S.), Chanel Smith (Halifax, N.S.) and Haley McDonald (Port Williams, N.S.) – each added eight points.
Saint Mary's improves to 13-4 and sit in second-place with 36 points.
Both teams return to action February 17th at 6 p.m. when Acadia hosts 1-15 StFX and SMU travels to 3-14 Dalhousie.
Saint Mary's concludes the regular-season with a two-game road trip February 24th-25th versus 12-4 AUS leading Cape Breton Capers.
Dominic Nolasco, SMU Communications
Photo Nick Pearce