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McDonald sets AUS hoop record

Memorial guard Alana Short blocks a shot from Acadia’s Haley McDonald during the second half of the AUS women’s basketball championship final at the Scotiabank Centre on Sunday afternoon.
Memorial guard Alana Short blocks a shot from Acadia’s Haley McDonald during the second half of the AUS women’s basketball championship final at the Scotiabank Centre on Sunday afternoon. - Ryan Taplin

Haley McDonald called her performance in Saturday’s semifinal of the AUS Final 6 championship an “out-of-body” experience.

Others said, “simply amazing.”

Only one player in AUS women’s basketball — Carol Turney of Saint Mary's on Dec. 3, 1976 — had ever reached the 50-point mark in a single game.

McDonald, the Acadia Axewomen’s third-year guard from Port Williams, eclipsed that standard by one, in a playoff game no less

She scored 51 in Acadia’s thrilling 88-84 victory over the No. 2-ranked UPEI Panthers at Scotiabank Centre.

“I have never had my game come together like that before,” said McDonald, who had 32 points in the second half alone. “Normally it’s one way or the other. I’m either shooting pretty well or getting to the basket pretty well. But today, it was just a good combo of everything. I can’t describe it."

McDonald was 10-for-11 from the free-throw line and drained five three-pointers in helping propel the third-seeded Axewomen into Sunday’s championship final against the No. 5 Memorial Sea-Hawks.

“This is exactly what we worked for all year,” said McDonald, an AUS first-team all-star who finished second in conference scoring during the regular season (23.3).

“Since I was in Grade 7, I dreamt of this day. I’ve put lots of time in so it’s so nice to see all of the results come in.”

Only one other Acadia player reached double digits in points on Saturday. Ellen Hatt had 10.

“It’s survive and advance, man,” said McDonald, who’s previous AUS single-game high was 36 points, which she scored on Jan. 13.

“We knew we had to bring something special. Everyone had to play their best or at least accommodate each other. My team did a great job for me today. I can’t have a game like that without the support of my teammates.”

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