WOLFVILLE, N.S. – With 4.2 seconds remaining on the clock and down 78-77, Acadia's Nick De Palma sent the nearly 1000 fans into a frenzy with a three-point basket to win 80-78 over the visiting Memorial Sea-Hawks.
A game that saw 16 lead changes, the Axemen prevailed in the closing seconds to open their AUS regular season with an edging of the Sea-Hawks.
The Axemen posted their largest lead seven minutes in to the third quarter of 11 points, but that was narrowed down to a 58-58 tie in the closing minute of the quarter. The Axemen headed into the final frame with a narrow 62-60 lead.
Sea-Hawk Daniel Gordon pushed Memorial into a 63-62 lead on a basket from the distant arc, but that lead was short-lived as the Axeman Erik Nissen gave Acadia a 64-63 lead on a layup.
The exchange of leads continued in the closing minutes of the game until Gordon's layup on a Ben Miller turnover with less than a minute remaining set the scene with the Sea-Hawks holding a 78-77 lead.
With four seconds remaining on the game clock and Acadia's ball on Memorial's baseline, Miller passed the ball to an open Nick De Palma who threw up the three point shot for the win. The ball bounced once on the rim before dropping in for the winning basket.
"We battled right to the end and stayed together as a group," said head coach Kevin Duffie following the nail-biting win.
Despite the win, Duffie noted that his team was erratic throughout the game.
"We need to be more consistent possession to possession on both ends of the floor," noted Duffie.
Daniel Gordon led the Sea-Hawks with 20 points off the bench and Padraig Dawe added 18 points.
The Axemen and Sea-Hawks will meet again Sunday afternoon at 3pm for the second matchup of the weekend in a two game Acadia home stand.