(HALIFAX, N.S.) - After more than a year, championship AUS basketball is back.
The much-anticipated Subway AUS Basketball Championships returned, with the Acadia Axewomen (2nd seed) taking on the STFX X-Women (7th seed) in the opening game on Thursday afternoon.
In an entertaining opener, it was the Axewomen moving on to the semifinals with an 81-73 win.
STFX’s Grace Rheault (Ottawa, Ont.) put the first points on the board, but it was Acadia who led 18-15 after a closely contested first quarter.
Second-year guard Olivia Moller (Hammond Plains, N.S.) played an important role with two three-pointers in the first quarter, as her Axewomen team went to the dressing room with a narrow 34-33 point lead after the first half.
STFX made the most of their return to the Subway AUS Basketball Championships, with all of their players playing in the tournament for the first time. Back-to-back three pointers from Aliyah Fraser (New Glasgow, NS) and Tahmala Thorpe (Mississauga, Ont.) briefly gave the X-Women a 29-27 lead, forcing Axewomen coach Len Harvey to call a timeout.
The Axewomen extended their lead in the third quarter with 25 points, to make the score 59-53.
Subway Player of the Game and AUS second team all-star Elizabeth Beals-Iseyemi (Dartmouth, NS) dominated in the third, with 15 of her 24 points coming in the quarter. Beals-Iseyemi finished the afternoon with two three-pointers, nine rebounds and was six-for-eight from the foul line.
The Axewomen’s Jayda Veinot (Port Williams, N.S.), named most valuable player in the league on Wednesday, led the game with 30 points.
First-year guard Tahmala Thorpe led the X-Women with 22 points, including making five of nine shots from behind the arc. Forward Kira Atherley (Lasalle, Ont.) finished with seven rebounds. Aliyah Fraser was the Subway Player of the Game for the STFX.
Acadia's next game is in the semifinal on Saturday, March 19 at 6:30 p.m. against the winner of the UNB and Saint Mary’s quarter-final.
Watch every game of the 2022 Subway AUS Basketball Championship, presented by Bell Aliant and G Series, on AUStv.ca.
Recap by Jonathan Briggins