Antigonish, NS – In a close, back-and-forth game at the StFX Saputo Centre on Saturday night, the Saint Mary's Huskies edged the StFX X-Men 66-65.
The win marked the second consecutive win for the Huskies over the same X squad as they took home-and-home games, including a 95-88 win Wednesday night in Halifax.
The X-Men opened up an 18-14 lead in Saturday's game after one quarter of play.
The Huskies took the second quarter 24-22 despite being down by eight points midway through the quarter. They clawed their way back and were down by two points, 40-38 at halftime.
The third quarter was another back-and-forth affair and was low scoring at 15-14 in favour of the Huskies as both teams ramped up their defensive efforts.
StFX held a slim 54-53 lead after 30 minutes of play, setting up for a dramatic fourth quarter.
In another low-scoring quarter, the teams went toe-to-toe fighting until the last minute.
The Huskies held a six-point lead early in the quarter at 60-54 but the teams struggled to hit baskets and the same score remained for nearly two full minutes of play.
The X-Men closed the gap to 60-57 and were down 63-60 with 2:07 left to play after Avan Nava (Mississauga, ON) hit a three-pointer.
Freshman guard Dondre Reddick (Antigonish, NS) played well for the X-Men down the stretch. His nice spin move and layup with 30 seconds left on the clock gave X a 64-63 lead.
But the Huskies came right back and Tristan Hyde (Bedford, ON) sank a critical pair of free throws to give his team a two-point edge at 66-64 with 21 seconds left to play.
With the X-Men in possession, Azaro Roker (Nassua, Bahamas) was fouled, putting him at the free throw line with a chance to send the game into overtime with only 1.6 seconds on the clock. Roker missed the first shot and made the second one but possession was handed over to the Huskies and they held on for the slim margin of victory.
Qyemah Gibson (Nassau, Bahamas) scored 17 points for the Huskies and had eight rebounds, earning him Subway player of the game honours. Nikita Kasongo (Chateauguay, QC) also scored 17 and added four assists and four steals. Johneil Johnson (Lake Echo, NS) added 10 points and five rebounds for the Huskies.
Roker was the high scorer for the X-Men, finishing with 18 points and a monster night under the glass with 20 rebounds.
Nava scored 12, Justin Andrew (Hamilton, ON) added 10 points and six rebounds, and Reddick scored nine off the StFX bench.
The X-Men will next see action on Saturday, November 23rd when they host Memorial at 8:00 pm in a game worth four points in the AUS standings.
The Huskies will also be in action on November 23rd in a four-point game when they travel to Fredericton for an 8pm tip-off against UNB.
Courtesy Krista McKenna, StFX Sports Information