By Thomas Becker
Acadia's two best players, Haley McDonald and Lizzie Iseyemi, combined for 47 points as the Axewomen completed the season sweep of the UPEI Panthers with an 83-64 win Saturday evening.
McDonald was a big factor in a dominant second quarter for Acadia (8-2). The fifth-year guard scored 13 of her game-high 25 points in the decisive frame and almost single-handedly matched UPEI's 15-point output. She also finished with eight rebounds, five assists and five steals. Iseyemi, meanwhile, scored eight in the quarter and finished with 22 points and 10 rebounds, four assists and two steals.
McDonald said there was extra motivation this weekend, as she wanted to prove she could score against the Panthers' No. 1 ranked defence.
"For a lot of years, they had amazing players—Jenna Mae (Ellsworth), Reese (Baxendale), Karla (Yepz), Carolina (Del Santo)—so I'm pretty familiar playing against really great defenders. So I come with a little bit of a chip on my shoulder knowing it's going to be a hard night."
UPEI (6-5) looked good early as Alicia Bowering hunted down shots from the perimeter and connected on a pair of three-pointers before going in for a floater in an early 10-8 game.
After UPEI took a 13-8 lead, McDonald scored seven of the next 10 points for Acadia to pull her team in front 18-16. They led 22-19 going into the second quarter. McDonald continued where she left off and scored 11 consecutive points to make it a double-digit advantage, 33-23.
After a few minutes of trading baskets, the Axewomen went on a 10-0 run to extend their lead to 49-29. Iseyemi drained two triples in the run and had 13 points at halftime, where Acadia led big, 55-34. McDonald had 20 points at the break, as her team outscored UPEI 33-15 in the quarter while shooting a blistering 61.1 per cent from the field, including shooting 7-of-9 from beyond the arc.
Both teams struggled from the field in the third, but UPEI did manage to trim the deficit to 64-47 thanks to a mini 5-0 run to end a low-scoring quarter
With the game out of reach, both teams elected to go to their benches for most of the fourth quarter, as the Axewomen earned their fourth straight win over the Panthers.
"I feel like this has been a rivalry back and forth over the years and I think both teams compete so hard, so it felt good to get another win against them," McDonald said.
UPEI looks to end their three-game losing streak when they host the UNB Reds Friday night, while Acadia welcomes the Saint Mary's for a Thursday night tilt.
Photo Credit: Janessa Hogan