The Acadia Axewomen accomplished something this season that hasn’t been done in recorded history.
The women’s basketball team clinched first place in the conference Saturday night with a 70-57 victory over the Memorial Sea-Hawks. Athletic director Kevin Dickie said the most wins the team has had was 13 in a 22-game season in 1977-78.
“This year we just had our 16th … and I guess most importantly, since they started keeping records in the AUAA and AUS, this is the first time we clinched first place,” Dickie said after the game to a loud round of applause from the standing crowd at War Memorial Gymnasium.
The team’s captains and coach were called to centre court to receive the game ball from university president Ray Ivany.
With the win Acadia will get a bye in the first round of the conference tournament next weekend in Antigonish. They will play in a semifinal Saturday.
“The last time an Acadia team won a championship was 1951,” Dickie pointed out.
Against Memorial, the Axewomen trailed by two points heading to the fourth quarter, but weren’t going to be denied. They won the final quarter 24-9.
The Duinkers led the way with each recording double-doubles.
Emma Duinker had 19 points and 12 rebounds while Abbey Duinker added 15 and 10. Stefanie Chapman contributed 12 points while Kristy Moore had 10.
The Axewomen conclude their regular season Sunday at home with a 1 p.m. game with Memorial.
Saturday's win came on the heels of a 59-56 loss Wednesday to the Saint Mary’s Huskies in Halifax.
It was the first win by the Huskies over Acadia in four tries this season, and just the third loss for the Axewomen in 18 regular season games.
Naomie Fequiere’s three-pointer with 21 seconds left on the clock broke a 56-56 tie and propelled the Huskies to victory over the country’s seventh-ranked Axewomen.
The teams were tied at 13 after one quarter. Saint Mary’s took a 28-26 lead into the dressing room at halftime, and the Huskies led 45-40 after three quarters. Acadia won the fourth quarter 16-14, but it wasn’t quite enough.
Conference MVP candidate Justine Colley led all scorers with 24 for Saint Mary’s, including a lay-up to tie the score with 1:38 to play.
Susanne Canvin had a huge game for the Huskies with 15 points and a game-high 17 rebounds.
Abbey Duinker led Acadia with 16 points, Emma Duinker added 13 while Moore and Chapman had 10 apiece.
Neither team shot particularly well, which was reflected in the relatively low score. Acadia has averaged 81.8 points per game this season, Saint Mary’s 72.4. Both teams ended up well below their season averages.
Acadia shot just 27 per cent from the floor and the Huskies weren’t a whole lot better at 33.3 per cent. The game featured tight defense, and had a real playoff feel.
Saint Mary’s, which will finish in third place, improved to 12-7 with the victory.