In this weekend’s Atlantic University Sport (AUS) women’s basketball action, Mark English’s MUN Sea-Hawks scored an upset victory in the second of two meetings against the hosting UPEI Panthers. The Sea-Hawks dropped the opening contest 63-72 before rebounding to take the second by a score of 66-57.

Sydney Stewart’s shooting was on point for the red and white from the word go in the Saturday game. Stewart’s 7-10 performance from the field for 16 points kept the game within reach, as Memorial would go on an astounding 28-12 run to close out the game. Unfortunately, the Panthers did just enough to keep the Sea-Hawks at bay, led by Tamara Tompkins’ game-high 21 points and Jane McLaughin’s impressive 12 point, 13 rebound double-double. Rebecca Amo-Mensah and Rosemary Staneov each put in 28 minutes off the bench for the Sea-Hawks, but were largely ineffective from an offensive standpoint. Amo-Mensah was held scoreless, though she did collect seven boards, while Staneov’s nine rebounds helped to offset a poor 2-10 shooting performance. Balanced scoring across the board enabled the Panthers to see the victory out on their home floor, despite dressing just two alternates for the fixture and having each starter see over 30 minutes of action.

The depleted UPEI bench began to take its toll in the follow-up meeting between the sides as the Panthers seemed a step behind in closing out Memorial’s shooters. Lindsay Taylor scored all of her 12 points on 4-10 shooting from downtown, while Stewart was again influential, also with 12. Carolyn Adams erased the memory of a short-lived and ineffective outing the previous day with a vital ten points on high percentage shots. Though the Panthers led the individual scoring stats with Kiera Rigby’s 17 and Anne Kiberd’s 14, they could hardly keep up with Memorial’s rested legs and spirited pace. Memorial’s bench outscored the hosts 28-5 in the much needed victory.

The Sea-Hawks (3-15) are well and truly eliminated from the playoff picture despite the victory, with the St. FX X-Women sitting joint on 10 points with them, but with two games in hand. Meanwhile, UPEI’s (5-13) stumble mean they are unable to leapfrog Dalhousie in the hunt for the final playoff berths in the conference. At the other end of the conference, the top two remain unchanged, with the St. Mary’s Huskies (15-1) riding an unparalleled ten game winning streak, and the Acadia Axewomen (15-2) still hot on their heels.

As the season winds down into its final weekends, preparation for next year is the focus with the playoffs well out of reach. Behind the scenes, English’s fine tuning appears to be having the desired results, as each member of the team gets an opportunity to showcase their talents and what they bring to the team. With nothing to lose, look for younger players to play a larger share of minutes as shake-ups and adjustments continue to dominate proceedings.

After a gap week, the Lady Hawks return home to the Field House to close out the season against the St. FX X-Women in a pair of four-point games. Tip-offs are at 6:00 p.m. on February 26 and 1:00 p.m. February 27.

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