SYDNEY, N.S. (U SPORTS) - Sandy Saunders had a game-high 19 points to lead the No. 7 seed Acadia Axewomen to a 78-76 win over the No. 5 Calgary Dinos in the consolation final of the 2023 Protocase Women’s Final 8, presented by Bell, at the Sullivan Field House in Sydney on Sunday. Saunders was six-of-nine from the field off the bench for the Axewomen to help her team win their season finale.
The consolation final was not taken lightly by either side as both teams battled to win their final game of the season. It took three minutes to open the scoring, but the respective conference finalists battled to a nine-all tie. Calgary scored eight straight points to open the game up and took a 19-11 lead after one. The Axewomen found their stride in the second quarter after back-and-forth action, extending their lead to as much as six points. Acadia had two players score ten points in the half and took a 37-34 lead at the break.
Calgary scored five straight points to open the second half, but it was Acadia who once again found their stride and extended their lead to as much as eight. The Dinos battled back and tied it in the final minute, but the Axewomen took a 60-58 lead into the final quarter. The lead changed six times in the final ten minutes, with back-and-forth action the whole way. Acadia found a way to win despite a late push from the Dinos and won the consolation final 78-76.
Elizabeth Iseyemi was the player of the game for Acadia, scoring 16 points to go with nine rebounds and seven assists. Saunders finished with 19 points and added three steals. Haley McDonald made an impact for the Axewomen with 16 points, six rebounds and six assists, while Bianca Helmig chipped in with 13 points.
Madison Landry was awarded player of the game for Calgary, finishing with 18 points on 4-4 shooting. Mackenzie Trpcic scored all 12 of her points in the second half, adding seven rebounds and six assists in the game. Bobbi-Jo Colburn came off the bench with 16 points for Calgary in the loss.
The AUS runner-up Acadia Axewomen finish their season with a consolation final win, their best finish in four trips to the Women’s Final 8, while the Calgary Dinos finish in the sixth spot on the year.