X-Men handle V-Reds 85-66

Photo courtesy Nic Latulippe
Photo courtesy Nic Latulippe

Antigonish, NS - The StFX X-Men (6-3) made it four consecutive regular season victories with an 85-66 win over the visiting UNB Varsity Reds (5-4) Saturday night at Oland Centre.

The home team took an early 13-9 edge, on the strength of seven points, including a three-pointer, from guard Akil Charles (Glenn Dale, MD). Led by five straight points from Julius Antoine (Woodbridge, ON), including a hoop-and-harm three-point play, the X-Men closed the first quarter on a 15-5 spurt to take a 25-14 advantage.

After a three-point play from all-Canadian Javon Masters (Kitchener, ON), the Varsity Reds trailed 34-27, in the opening four minutes of the second quarter. Kevin Bercy (Kanata, ON) responded, with a sweeping left-handed lay-in and subsequent foul shot, to restore a 10-point X-Men lead at 37-27.

After a 10-2 burst to close out the second quarter, the X-Men led 44-29 at halftime.

Early in the second half, after an offensive rebound and kick-out from Cameron Walker (Dallas, TX), point guard Davonte Provo (East Preston, NS) drained a shot from beyond the arc to make it 48-31 for StFX.

After three minutes of the third quarter, on the heels of back-to-back shots from downtown from Charles and Antoine, the X-Men were up 54-31. StFX led 62-44 heading to the fourth quarter.

In the final 10 minutes, UNB made a couple runs, one sparked by consecutive three-pointers from freshman guard Chris Spurrell (Rothesay, NB), but they couldn't trim the X-Men lead to less than 16 points.

First-year guard Mark Fernandes (Calgary, AB) helped seal the deal, scoring the final five X-Men points.

For StFX, Antoine - the Subway player of the game - scored a game-high 27 points, while adding eight rebounds and five assists. Charles and Walker also hit double digits, with 10 points apiece, with Walker completing a double-double with a game-high 10 rebounds. Off the bench, sophomore guard Tristen Ross (Truro, NS) netted 12.

For UNB, Spurrell - his team's player of the game - finished with 21 points, while adding six steals, two rebounds and one assist. Masters finished with 14 points, six rebounds, four assists, three steals and one blocked shot. Jamaal Potopsingh (Brampton, ON) also scored in double figures, with 13, while chipping in five rebounds.

The X-Men will be back on the court Tuesday, Jan. 10, when they host the rival Cape Breton University Capers. The Varsity Reds will return to action Saturday, Jan. 14, when they welcome the Memorial University Sea-Hawks. Tip-off for both match-ups is 8 p.m.