Axemen pull away late in 3rd to defeat St. FX

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.



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