Ottawa ON-The Acadia Axemen’s calling card all season long has been defense, and they once again showed why they were the AUS’s best defensive team with an 89-80 win over the fourth seed UBC Thunderbirds.
The Axemen held UBC to just 32 % field goal shooting in the first half and continued the suffocating trend in the second half forcing 18 Thunderbirds turnovers.
“It’s toughness, we just got to be tough.” Owen Klassen told NPH following the victory. “We cant let them get into the paint, and we force them into shots we know we can contest.”
Klassen finished the game with 15 points and four rebounds, but it was his defensive energy that changed the game for the Axemen.
As good as Acadia was defensively, they also received explosive performances from their perimeter players.
Second year guard Tyler Scott led the way with a game high 29 points on a sizzling 10 of 12 shooting from the field.
“When we shoot well, we shoot well. Those guys can drain shots with the best of them,” Klassen said smiling. “They definitely played well tonight.”
Anthony Ashe and Anthony Sears also had a strong offensive game combining for 24 points and 10 rebounds.
O’Brian Wallace led the way for the Thunderbirds with a team-high 26 points and seven rebounds. Brylle Kamen added 16 points in the loss.
Following the win the Axemen were still unsure of their opponent in the semi-final, but their leader seems indifferent if it happens to be the host Carleton Ravens.
“We’ve played them before,” said Klassen.”We played them last year and we feel that we can beat them.”
NPH Top Performers
Tyler Scott—29 points, 6 rebounds (10-12 FG, 7-8 3PT FG)
Owen Klassen—15 points, 4 rebounds
Anthony Ashe—14 points, 6 rebounds
O’Brain Wallace—26 points, 7 rebounds
Brylle Kamen—16 points, 6 rebounds
Late in the fourth quarter fifth year guard Doug Plumb suffered an apparent head injury diving for a loose basketball. Plumb was carted out on a stretcher. No official injury update was available after the end of the game. Stay tuned to @Northpolehoops on twitter for updates on Plumb’s condition.