By Thomas Becker
Friday night, it took until the second quarter before the UPEI Panthers imposed their will on the game. It happened from the opening tipoff Saturday night, as they defeated the Acadia Axemen 89-56.
The Panthers outscored the Axemen 24-8 in the opening 10 minutes and never relinquished control.
Four players finished in double figures for UPEI, including Sam Chisholm, who scored a game-high 19 points on a perfect 7-of-7 from the field. Dakelle Brooks had 16, while Kamari Scott was a rebound shy of a double-double (15 points and nine rebounds). Subway Player of the Game Elijah Miller filled the stat sheet with 13 points, nine rebounds, six assists and a steal.
Alex Muise led the Axemen with 10 points in the loss.
Miller said the team was disappointed with their performance during Dalhousie's Shoveller Tournament in the final week of December and they vowed to come back stronger in the New Year.
"We came back and had a great week of practice," he said. "(Tonight) we executed on defence and that's what we rely on. Sam made big shots, Kam and Dakelle played well and so did everyone else, so it was a good weekend."
After yesterday's 20-point performance, Chisholm came out strong, scoring four of the Panther's first seven points. UPEI then opened up a 16-6 lead with consecutive layups by Cameron Brown, forcing Acadia to regroup with a timeout. The Panthers ended the quarter on an 8-2 run and carried a 24-8 lead into the second.
Three-pointers from Chisholm and Brooks to start the quarter opened up a 20-point advantage for the Panthers.
Ryan Munro started connecting from beyond the arc and helped Acadia go on a 13-5 run with a pair of triples, as they trimmed the deficit to 35-23. However, UPEI responded with a 9-3 run of their own and went into the break ahead 44-26. Chisholm and Scott led the way with 11 points each, while Munro led the way with nine off the bench for the Axemen.
Back-to-back layups from Miller to start the third quarter made it a 20-point game. That lead steadily grew and reached 30 following a Brooks three-pointer that closed out the frame. After three quarters, UPEI held a 73-43 advantage.
The fourth quarter was another stress-free affair for the starters who faced limited action in the final 10 minutes, as the Panthers completed the season sweep with the 89-56 victory.
UPEI looks to extend their win streak to three when they host the UNB Reds Friday night, while Acadia welcomes the Saint Mary's for a Thursday night battle.
Photo Credit: Janessa Hogan