Acadia 84, St. FX 75 6’8″ lefty Erik Nissen had 24 points and 11 rebounds while 6’3″ floor general extrordinare 6’3″ Ben Miller had 14 points, 6 rebounds and 12 assists, many of the dazzling variety leading to at least 4 dunks by Nissen as Axemen pulled away with a 22-8 run late in the third to later lead by as many as 16 in defeating last-place St. FX.
With X up 50-45 after a slick feed by 6’3″ lefty Julius Antoine freed up 6’7″ Kevin Bercy for a one-handed slam, Nissen and Miller went to work. Among the memorable highlights was a sweet bounce pass in transition by Miller through the legs of an X defender to lead Nissen into a lay-up. Acadia also had strong second-half efforts from emerging long-range shooter Nick DePalma, who hit a couple of 3’s from Horton Landing as part of his 5 for 10 shooting effort and Shaq Smith who hit a pair of 4th quarter 3’s to extend the lead to 16.
Antoine appeared to take the game over early for St. FX as he hit 6 of his first 9 threes en route to a 20 point first half in which the lefty dominated from the perimeter. But he scored just 5 points after halftime including going 0-3 from three point land. After a slow start, Bercy (15 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists) got going toward the end of the half, punctuated by his dunk and X appeared to be on their way, with focus on Bercy inside. But inexplicably, the ball stopped going inside and, when it did, it was usually to 6’6″ Cameron Walker (4-13 from the field, 8 points, zero assists) who remains unable to draw a double team, rarely looks to punch the ball back out and is a below average finisher, throwing up prayers in many instances. Given what I’ve seen of X, Bercy is a much better alternative if the plan is to start the offense with a post touch.
Miller continues to show he is one of the more quietly underrated players in the AUS. Many times a 12 assist total can be courtesy of some home cooking on the stats table; however tonight Miller’s dimes were all legit including several against X’s 3-2 zone which they tried early and then when X went man, Miller went to work on the two-man game.
The teams meet again on Friday night in Antigonish.