Antigonish, NS – The StFX X-Men (0-3) are still in search of their first win of the AUS season as they fell 85-82 to the Acadia Axemen (3-0) Saturday evening at the StFX Oland Centre.
The teams played an even paced first quarter to open the game with the home team X-Men taking an early 19-13 lead after the first quarter.
The Axemen picked it up in the second quarter, led by some sharp three-point shooting from Nick DePalma (Bedford, NS) who went 3 for 4 from behind the arc. Acadia led by as much as 8 points in the quarter and would have had a higher half-time advantage had Julius Antoine (Vaughan, ON) not drained a three-pointer at the buzzer as X closed the gap to 38-34 at half.
Acadia started to pull away in the third quarter and outscored the X-Men 25-20 as they built up a 63-54 lead. X-Men guard Mark Fernandes (Calgary, AB) drained a long shot from behind half court at the buzzer in an excited play in front of the hometown fans.
Fernandes played a strong game off the StFX bench, scoring all of his 12 points in the second half of the game. Also off the bench, Azaro Roker (Nassau, Bahamas) with nine points, added flair to the X-Men line-up with his exciting slam dunks.
But it was the Axemen who would withstand the StFX pressure in the final quarter to hang on for the win. The X-Men outscored the visitors 28-22 in the final frame but ran out of time.
DePalma stayed hot for the Axemen and netted 23 total points on the evening.
X-Men senior Kevin Bercy (Kanata, ON) hit a pair of three-pointers late in the game to pull the X-Men to within three points but that is where the game ended despite a last effort on final shots by Fernandes and Antoine in the final seconds.
Bercy led the X-Men in scoring (23) and rebounds (11) with a double-double effort. Antoine finished with 19 points.
DePalma, the Subway player of the game, was Acadia's top scorer with 23. Four other Axemen hit the double-scoring digits including Rhys Larry (Brockville, ON) with 16, Ben Miller (Winnipeg, MB) with 12, while Erik Nissen (Quispamsis, NB) and Mitchell Tempro (Three Mile Plains, NS) scored 12 and 10, respectively.
Trevon Grant (Nassau, Bahamas) led the Axemen in rebounding hauling in 11.
The Axemen only had eight turnovers in the game, to the X-Men's 17.
StFX are next in action on November 18th and 19th when they travel to St. John's for a pair of games against the Memorial Sea-Hawks.
The Axemen will host Dalhousie on Thursday, November 16th in an 8:00 pm game.