Antigonish, NS – The UNB Varsity Reds (13-3) defeated the StFX X-Men (6-9) in a close 86-84 game that went down to the final second Saturday night on Coach K Court at the StFX Oland Centre. The win was worth four points in the AUS standings for the Varsity Reds who took over sole possession of second place.
UNB held the lead throughout the opening quarter, going up 21-14 after the first 10 minutes of play.
The X-Men chipped away at their lead throughout the second quarter. A Tristen Ross (Truro, NS) three-pointer with three minutes left in the half pulled the X-Men to within five points, then Julius Antoine's (Vaughan, ON) jumper at the end of the quarter tied the game at 42-42 heading into half-time.
Antoine led the X-Men with 19 points in the opening half. Reigning league MVP Kevin Bercy (Kanata, ON) was held to four points by the Varsity Reds.
The X-Men in turn, held U SPORTS career-leading scorer Javon Masters (Kitchener, ON) to eight points in the first half but he came out with a strong second half to pace the V-Reds.
In a close third quarter, UNB edged the X-Men 21-18 as Masters netted 10 points and X-Men point guard Davonte Provo (East Preston, NS) scored 10 for his team, including a pair from beyond the three-point arc.
Midway through the quarter UNB's Will Legere (Amherst, NS) and StFX's Cameron Walker (Dallas, TX) both received technical fouls and were ejected from the game after they got tangled up under the UNB net in a brief tussle and exchanged words.
With UNB up 63-60 heading into the fourth quarter, the teams put on a show in an exciting game that went down to the final seconds. Exchanging baskets throughout the quarter, they were tied up again 76-76 with under five minutes to go.
The X-Men held a one point lead, 82-81 with under a minute to play. A Masters jumper with 19 seconds left gave the Varsity Reds an 85-84 edge. Hess Mayele (Laval, QC) gave the visitors a two point lead, 86-84 after sinking one of his two free throws with seven seconds left on the clock.
Antoine had a chance to tie the game but came short on a lay-up attempt. Fouled on the play, he missed the first free throw and StFX failed to come up with the rebound on the second attempt.
With only one second on the clock the Varsity Reds held on for the win.
Jesse Kendall (Guelph, ON) scored eight off the UNB bench in the final frame, including a pair of key three-pointers and Masters added nine points to his tally. Bercy had a strong showing for StFX down the stretch with 13 points.
The Subway player of the game, Masters closed the night with 27 points, eight rebounds and dished seven assists. Kendal scored 11 and Tyrell Leotard (Ajax, ON) and Alec Parise (Miscouche, PE) each contributed 10 points apiece for UNB. Cooper Wilkes (Sydney, AUS) matched Masters eight rebounds.
Antoine scored a game-high 28 points for StFX and had five rebounds and seven assists. Bercy scored 21 and hauled in nine rebounds, while Provo scored ten and Ross chipped in with nine points on the night.
Next on the AUS schedule sees the X-Men hosting the Saint Mary's Huskies (8-6) Tuesday evening, February 6th at the StFX Oland Centre in an 8:00 pm tip-off. UNB will be back at home on Friday, February 16th to host UPEI (2-12), also at 8:00 pm.
Courtesy StFX Sports Information