The homestanding Memorial Sea-Hawks men’s and women’s basketball teams took three of four games from Acadia University over the weekend leaving both MUN teams in comfortable positions in the Atlantic University Sport (AUS) standings as the conference nears its Christmas/exam break after next weekend’s games.
The Sea-Hawks’ men’s squad swept the Axemen at the Field House on the MUN campus in St. John’s on Saturday and Sunday, while the Lady Birds split with the Axewomen, finishing up with an 87-79 win Sunday.
The latter was the first loss suffered this season by defending champion Acadia, co-leader in the AUS women’s conference.
The two Memorial basketball teams improved to 4-2. The Sea-Hawks are alone in second place in the men’s conference, two points behind the Dalhousie Tigers, while the Memorial women are tied for third with Saint Mary’s, two points behind Acadia (5-1) and UPEI.
In men’s play, it was all Cole Long over the weekend at The Nest, as the first-year Sea-Hawk from St. John’s starred at home to take over the conference scoring lead, averaging 20.8 points per game.
Long drained 22 points and pulled down nine rebounds in Sunday’s 89-76 MUN win. That came after a 34-point effort Saturday in MUN’s 91-72 victory
Starters Nathan Barker (14 points), Boris Ristanovic (12) and Jason Thompson (10) also had big games Sunday. Deng Ring, with 13 points, and Daniel Foo, with 12, provided offensive support off the bench.
For the Lady Birds, second-year guard Alana Short enjoyed a breakout game Sunday, contributing greatly to her team’s win, scoring 25 points.
Short hails from Barrie, Ont., but has close ties to St. John’s. Her father and uncles and other family members all starred in basketball in the Newfoundland capital, primarily with Holy Cross.
Like Long, Lady Hawks’ guard Haille Nickerson (22.3 ppg average) has taken over the AUS scoring lead with a 14-point game Sunday. Coming off the bench, Sammi Deakin-Sharpe (17 points) and Hannah Green and Ines Salat Margarit (10 apiece) also contributed to the Memorial cause.
On Friday, the Axewomen had won 89-74 in the first matchup with the Sea-Hawks since winning when the teams met in last year’s AUS final.
The Memorial teams hit the road next weekend, each with a pair of games in Antigonish, N.S., against St. Francis Xavier. When the conference goes on break after next weekend’s games, the Sea-Hawks won’t play again until Jan. 4-5 when they play host to Dalhousie.
The storyline wasn’t quite as positive with the Sea-Hawks’ women’s volleyball team over the weekend, as Memorial dropped three straight games at an AUS league tournament at the University of New Brunswick.
In Fredericton, MUN fell to 0-9 on the year with a 3-0 loss to Dal Friday, 3-2 setback to Acadia Saturday and a 3-1 defeat to the University of Moncton Sunday.