The Axemen basketball team concluded the past weekend on a positive note at the Calgary Cup hosted by the University of Calgary Dinos with a 2-1 record at a tournament that featured some of the top basketball programs in the country.
The Axemen opened the tournament with a 96-87 win over the every-strong McMaster Marauders. Senior forward Erik Nissen posted the most impressive numbers of the game with 31 points, four blocks and five rebounds. Ben Miller and Trevon Grant added 20 and 10 points respectively to Nissen's numbers.
The Axemen took a commanding 24-13 lead in the opening quarter and held leads in three of four quarters. The Marauders closed the gap in the fourth, but a little too late. Matt Quiring and Miles Seward posted 22 and 20 points for McMaster.
The Axemen didn't fair well against the host Dinos, who are considered a Top 5 program. While out to a 24-22 first quarter lead, Acadia trailed in the second and third quarters by six points each. Down by 10 in the opening of the final frame, the Axemen fell well short in the final quarter, losing 20-8 and a final score of 91-70. Trevon Grant posted a team high 14 points, while Nissen and Rhys Larry added 13 and 11.
In their final game of the weekend tournament, Acadia recorded a 95-83 win over the 2017 U SPORTS bronze medalist McGill Redmen. Off the bench, Nick De Palma led the Axemen with 20 points that included five for five from the three-point arc. Miller and Grant complemented De Palma's 20 points with 17 points each and Nissen added 13. First year forward Mason Middaugh netted 13 points in 16 minutes of play.
"Good start of our exhibition schedule against some very good teams in U SPORTS. Team consistency is always a work in progress this time of year, but we got better each game in that aspect. We had full team efforts on each night. Erik Nissen set the tone for us with a strong effort on Thursday afternoon against McMaster and Ben Miller was solid all weekend long. Trevone Grant shouldered the load offensively at times for us this weekend as well," noted head coach Kevin Duffie following the tournament's last game against McGill.
"We got some great bench production from De Palma and first year Small Forward Mason Middaugh. We have a little more depth with this year's roster than we've had in the past, and that was the major contributor to the success we had this weekend," said Duffie.
The Axemen will head to Ottawa to take part in the House-Laughton Tournament beginning with Laval Rouge et Or on Friday, followed by games against Bishop's on Saturday and concluding against host Carleton on Sunday. The Axemen wrap up the exhibition season at home versus Nipissing on Thursday, October 19 at 7:00 p.m