Antigonish, NS - The StFX X-Men defeated the visiting Memorial Sea-Hawks 88-81 on Sunday afternoon to split the weekend series and earn a much needed four points in the standings.
The X-Men started the brighter of the two teams and built up a 13-point lead (22-9) after six minutes of play. Thomas Legallais (Cornwall, ON) hit a key three-pointer to keep the momentum with the home side. All X-Men starters hit the scoresheet to keep the Sea-Hawks defence on their heels. The X-Men led 23-17 after the first quarter.
The second quarter saw the Sea-Hawks increase their intensity as Nathan Barker (Corner Brook, NL) continued his fine shooting from from last evening and lead all scorers at the break with 18 points.
The defensive play of Boris Ristanovic (Kragujevac, Serbia) was crucial in limiting StFX's rebound chances and getting points in the paint, which led to fast-break baskets for his team as they reduced the X-Men's lead. The score at the half was 42-38 in favour of StFX.
The second half saw the visitors begin to turn the screw on the X-Men as Barker, once again, led the way for Memorial and Jason Thompson (St. John's, NF) controlled the pace of play. StFX big man Daniel Passley (Mississauga, ON) had eight points to keep the X-Men in the lead going into the final quarter by a slim 55-54 margin.
The fourth quarter was a tense affair with the Sea-Hawks taking their first lead of the game early in the quarter. The lead changed frequently and with 4:58 remaining, Memorial clung to a precarious one-point lead at 66-65. Atik Gilao (Brampton, ON), who played well all afternoon, was calm at the free-throw line as he helped X regain and keep the lead as he scored 13 fourth quarter points to help solidify the 88-81 victory for the home team.
For his effort, Gilao earned Subway player of the game honours, finishing with a big double-double game leading the X-Men with 23 points and 12 rebounds.
All the X-Men starters were I double scoring digits as Passley scored 19, Legallais netted 14, Tristen Ross (Truro, NS) scored 12 and Justin Andrew (Hamilton, ON) contributed 10 points and 11 rebounds.
Sea-Hawks player of the game Barker scored a game-high 34 points, while Emanuel Ring (St. John's, NF) scored 14 and had nine rebounds.
The X-Men will return to action on Wednesday evening when they host the Acadia Axewomen in an 8:00 pm tip-off on Coach K Court.
The Sea-Hawks will have next weekend off before they travel to Halifax to play the Huskies on February 16th.
Courtesy Bart Sears, StFX Sports Information