Clayton’s 29 lead Huskies to opening night win at Acadia

Saint Mary’s (7-1, 1-0) 86, Acadia (1-6, 0-1) 77… Coming off last season’s set of nagging injuries, 5’10” Marquis Clayton now appears fully healthy, getting off to a strong start this evening in Wolfville as, tonight, the lightning quick guard had 13 of his game-high 29 points during a game-deciding 35-13 run that bridged halftime as the Huskies won the first of a home-and-home set in Wolfville, kicking off the AUS regular season.  Clayton is a former AUS all-star who was sidelined on at least two separate occasions last season but is returning to form, welcomed news for a very solid Huskies squad which again played without 6’8″ Osman Barrie, who is likely out for the entire first term dealing with knee problems.  Huskies, who led by as many as 18 on three occasions late in the third quarter, turned the game around midway through the second by extending their “d” and ultimately forcing 19 Acadia turnovers that allowed SMU to get out and run, which is their strength.  As well, underrated 6’3″ Kemar Alleyne did a stellar job on Acadia’s 6’3″ Ben Miller, holding the talented guard to just 1-10 shooting with 6 turnovers.  Unfortunately, Alleyne went down late in the game with an ankle sprain and his status going forward for the near-term is not known.  Saint Mary’s 6’8″ Achuil Lual is getting starter’s minutes in the absence of Barrie and the Ottawa native took advantage of porous ball screen “d”, teaming with Clayton (6 assists) to go 9 for 12 from the floor for 18 points.  6’2″ freshman Kordiero James came off an achilles problem to go just 1-5 from three but promises to add another element of athleticism and perimeter shooting to the Huskies.  6’9″ Erik Nissen had 15 points and 13 rebounds for Acadia but shot just 7 for 20 from the floor.  Axemen brought 6’5″ Kyle Arsenault off the bench this evening and the veteran finished with 12 points while 6’6″ freshman Jerome Mugambi started, knocking down a pair of 3’s and finishing with 11 points.  The teams meet again on Saturday in Halifax.



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