Antigonish, NS – The StFX X-Men topped the UNB Reds 87-81 in a close AUS game played Saturday night at the Saputo Centre.
The game came down to the wire with the X-Men pulling away in the final minute and a half of the game to earn their 10th win of the season and gain a valuable four points in the AUS standings.
The second place X-Men (10-7) are now two points ahead of the third place Reds (11-6) heading into the final two weeks of the regular season.
StFX had another big game from forward Azaro Roker (Nassau, Bahamas) who continues to put in double-double games. Tonight he scored a game-high 24 points and hauled in 16 rebounds.
Justin Andrew (Hamilton, ON) received Subway player of the game honours for his 22-point contribution in the X win.
For the Reds, Marcus Masters (Kitchener, ON) was the top scorer with 19 points on the night. He had 10 rebounds for the double-double game.
Chris Spurrell (Quispamsis, NB) netted 18 points, while veteran forward Tyrell Leotard (Ajax, ON) scored 17 off the Reds bench and Ibrahima Doumbouya (Calgary, AB) added 12.
The Reds got off to a hot start to the game, going up 13-2 in the opening four minutes, including a pair of three-pointers.
The X-Men chipped away at the lead and fought back to tie it up 15-15 with three and a half minutes to play.
UNB continued their sharp shooting from beyond the arc late in the quarter and closed it out with a 28-18 advantage as Spurrell scored eight points in the opening frame.
The X-Men had the scoring touch in the second quarter, outscoring the Reds 21-12. Andrew netted eight points and Reddick 12 as StFX closed the gap to a single point, 40-39 at halftime.
StFX again had the advantage in the third quarter, winning the 10 minutes by a 21-13 margin.
They began the quarter with an eight-point run to go up 47-40 in the opening two minutes.
The Reds pulled to within two points, 53-51 with under four minutes to play but the X-Men held a 60-53 lead after three quarters of play.
UNB looked to the long ball to help them again early in the fourth quarter with Daniel Pitcher (Sydney, AUS) and Leotaud draining back-to-back three's to put the game within four points.
They tied it up 68-68 with six minutes left to play thanks to a Masters jumper then took the lead on a basket from Spurrell.
With exciting end-to-end action and the game still tied with just over two minutes left, the X-Men slowly pulled ahead, thanks in part time at the free-throw line as the Reds found themselves in foul trouble down the stretch.
Thomas Legallais (Cornwall, ON) scored with just over a minute to play to put the X-Men up 82-76 and they didn't look back as the game closed out 87-81.
The X-Men played a disciplined game with only nine total fouls, keeping the Reds away from the free throw line.
StFX will next see action on Wednesday night, February 12th when they host Saint Mary's.
The Reds will play on home court on Saturday, February 15th against Memorial.
Courtesy StFX Sports Information