The Memorial Sea-Hawks (4-2) head to Nova Scotia this weekend for two 4-point games against the St. FX X-Women (1-4). The Hawks will look to continue their hot start to the season, but will be met with a tough challenge from a struggling St. FX squad who is hungry for some wins.
The Hawks are coming off another split at home against the Acadia Axewomen, losing the first game 89-74 and winning the second game 87-79. The X-Women come into the contests after dropping two straight games to the Saint Mary's Huskies, 88-80 on the road and 88-72 at home.
Memorial will have to slow down a triple threat of Aliyah Fraser, Marley Bonnick and Kimberly Kingsbury, who are each averaging over 14 points per game and are all in the top 11 in scoring in the AUS. Another player to watch is 6'2" center Karina Sarai, who is averaging 11 points and 4 rebounds in the last two games.
2nd year guard Alana Short (13.8 ppg) has been a big part of the success of the team to start the season, and has seen a huge increase in her role, saying: "I knew coming into the season I had to take on a bigger role as compared to last year so I have been trying my best to do whatever is necessary to help the team win. The success that we have had so far this season is a result of everyone on the team improving in the offseason and continuing to work hard during the season. Personally, I am challenging myself to try and be consistent so that I can help the team as much as possible."
Another player to highlight for the Sea-Hawks is 4th year guard Sammi Deakin-Sharpe from Brisbane, Australia. Deakin-Sharpe was everywhere on the box score this past weekend with averages of 15.5 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals and 1 block off the bench in the two games against Acadia. The Hawks will look for continued production from Deakin-Sharpe, as well as AUS leading scorer Haille Nickerson (22.3 ppg) and Alana Short, against St. FX.
When asked what the team's biggest focuses are going into these games, Head Coach Mark English said "St. FX score a lot of points and have multiple threats. Our main focus will be defensively. We need to make sure we do a good job of executing the game plan this weekend." He also added that the team needs to focus more on rebounding, saying that the team was much better on the glass on Sunday.
When commenting on the reasons for the team's early success this season, English had this to say: "Our effort and coachability has been fantastic. The team is still trying to figure each other out, but overall I have been really happy with our commitment to getting better each day and not look too far ahead."
The Sea-Hawks will need to come into Antigonish ready to play this weekend, as wins in these games mean 4 points apiece, rather than just 2. If they can pick up these wins early in the season, it will put them in a much better position to make the playoffs later in their campaign.
The Sea-Hawks play St. FX on Saturday, November 23rd at 6:30PM NST and Sunday, November 24th at 1:30PM NST. You can watch the games live on www.austv.ca, follow the live scores of the games on www.goseahawks.ca or follow the games on Twitter.
Written by: Darnell Downs