(HALIFAX, N.S.) – The Acadia Axewomen and the UPEI Panthers opened up the Subway AUS Basketball Championships Friday afternoon at Scotiabank Centre in Halifax, N.S., facing off in the first of two women's semi-final matchups.
Acadia earned an 80-66 win to advance to Saturday's semi-final round.
AUS first team all-star Paloma Anderson (Phoenix, Arizona) came out strong for Acadia in the first quarter, posting 10 points, four rebounds and a steal.
A balanced effort from the Panthers saw them take 20-17 lead at the end of the first frame.
In the second quarter, the Axewomen outscored UPEI 18-11 to take a 35-31 win into the locker room at halftime.
AUS rookie of the year Jenna Mae Ellsworth's (Charlottetown, P.E.I.) three pointer to open the second half brought the Panthers within one.
Acadia maintained a narrow lead throughout the third quarter, and led 52-50 heading into the final frame.
The Axewomen began to pull away in the final frame, thanks in part to 10 points and six rebounds from fourth-year guard and second team AUS all-star Chanel Smith (Halifax, N.S.).
Anderson led Acadia with a team-high 21 points to go along with 12 rebounds, two steals and an assist in the win. Smith had 20 points, seven rebounds and four assists.
Alexandra Berry had a double-double for the Axewomen with 16 points and 12 rebounds.
Kiera Rigby (Charlottetown, P.E.I.) led UPEI with 21 points, three rebounds, two steals, a block and an assist.
AUS all-rookie team member Karla Yepez (Quito, Ecuador) had 13 points, five rebounds and an assist for the Panthers (Fortune, P.E.I.). Jane McLaughlin had 12 points and nine defensive rebounds, two assists and a steal.
Ellsworth chipped in with 11 points, eight rebounds, an assist and a steal in the loss.
The Axewomen now advance to the Subway AUS Women's Basketball Championships semi-final round. They will face the Saint Mary's Huskies Saturday at 1 p.m.