Santil comes back to haunt Sea-Hawks

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John Browne
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AUS basketball Lady Sea-Hawks handed rare home court defeat

It didn't take Leonel Saintil long to make his mark on Saturday night's Atlantic University Sport basketball game against his former team.

The six-foot-five forward from Ottawa, who played his first two AUS seasons at MUN before transferring to Acadia after a falling out with MUN coach Todd Aughey, took the opening tip off to the hoop and dunked the ball to start what turned into a 113-44 rout for the Acadia Axemen at the Field House.

Memorial Sea-Hawk's Katherine Quackenbush hits a jumper in the first quarter of Saturday night's AUS women's basketball game against the Acadia Axewomen. Quackenbush scored 23 points, but it wasn't enough as Acadia beat the lady Hawks 80-77. Photo by Rhon

It didn't take Leonel Saintil long to make his mark on Saturday night's Atlantic University Sport basketball game against his former team.

The six-foot-five forward from Ottawa, who played his first two AUS seasons at MUN before transferring to Acadia after a falling out with MUN coach Todd Aughey, took the opening tip off to the hoop and dunked the ball to start what turned into a 113-44 rout for the Acadia Axemen at the Field House.

At one point late in the first quarter, with Acadia up 31-3, Saintil stole the ball and delivered another slam for emphasis. As he walked back up the court he looked in the general direction of Aughey and smiled broadly. If Aughey, who was kneeling on the floor in front of his team's bench, saw it, he didn't react.

After the game, Saintil said, "I was smiling at the (Sea-Hawk) players. I just decided to give them a smile, that's all."

He said there was no lingering animosity on his part against Aughey. "Of course not... not at all."

It was a memorable night for Saintil in more ways than one.

He finished with a game high 23 points, four assists and four steals in 25 minutes of work. He also added 15 rebounds to break the AUS conference record for boards in a season, a record held by former Sea-Hawk and Axemen Matt Chapman of St. John's, who set the mark of 258 in the 1999-2000 campaign.

"I was having fun," Saintil said. "You always want to play your old teammates and it was a good time."

Saintil, who sat for the final quarter, said he couldn't be any happier at Acadia.

"It's a great system, teammates, great coach. Everything's just worked, y'know. It's the perfect fit. I'm having fun again."

After the game, Saintil shook hands briefly with Aughey without much eye contact while giving a hug to former Sea-Hawk teammates Mark English and Rob Grant.

The first-place Axemen improved to 16-2 while the last-place Sea-Hawks fell to 0-17 on the season. The teams play again 1 p.m. today.

Acadia opened with a 23-0 run on their way to handing the Sea-Hawks their worst ever defeat. The visitors led 63-13 at the half and didn't let up until the final seconds of the game. MUN's Jeff Gallant drew a derisive cheer from the home crowd when he hit a free throw for the Sea-Hawks first point of the game with 4:38 left in the first quarter.

English was tops for MUN with 12 points. Grant Harvey scored eight and Jeremey Feist had seven off the bench in 18 minutes of floor time.

The teams play again 1 p.m. today.

Acadia 80, Memorial 77 (women's game)

If the outcome of men's game was predictable, the women's game was a bit of a shocker as the Axewomen (7-11) handed the Lady Hawks (14-3) their first loss of the season on home court.

Four Sea-Hawks hit double figures and Acadia turned the ball over 26 times, but MUN still couldn't match the overall team effort of the visitors.

"Have they (MUN) ever lost at home?" a smiling Acadia coach Angie McLeod said after the game.

"Everyone talks about Memorial not having a stellar inside game or their shooting isn't that good, but they are a really good team that plays well together and that's the key.

"I kind of took a page out of their playbook this weekend and I told my girls 'let's get back to team basketball,' and that's exactly what we did today," said McLeod.

"To beat a team like Memorial at home is a real accomplishment for us," the Axewomen's coach added.

Katherine Quackenbush led MUN with 23 points. Kelly Himmelman scored 13 and Vicki Thistle netted 12 points and had nine rebounds, while Leslie Stewart sank 11 points to go along with four steals.

Acadia's Brianne Ozimok was the game's top scorer with 28 points. Becky Mutch chipped in with 21 for the Axewomen who led from start to finish.

The rematch was set for 11 o'clock this morning.

jbrowne@thetelegram.com

Organizations: Atlantic University Sport, Field House

Geographic location: Acadia, Ottawa, St. John's

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