Strong fourth quarter pushes X-Men past Reds

Photo credit Bryan Kennedy
Photo credit Bryan Kennedy

Antigonish, NS – The U SPORTS No. 7 ranked STFX X-Men used a dominant fourth quarter to secure a 92-77 win over the UNB Reds Saturday night on Coach K Court at the Saputo Centre.

After leading by two points heading into the final quarter, the X-Men outpaced the REDS 31-18 in the final frame to take home the win, improving their record to 9-1 on the season. UNB drops to 3-6.

STFX came out playing fast paced and took advantage of a couple turnovers by the REDS to establish an early lead in the game.

Back-to-back three-pointers by Malik Grant (Brampton, ON) and Norm Burry (Grafton, NB) quickly drew the REDS back to within one point, 10-9, four minutes into the game.

Grant continued to be hot from beyond the arc and turned the table for a Reds one-point lead after two more treys.

The first quarter closed out 22-21 in favour of the X-Men as Antoine Vernon (Hamilton, ON) drained a three at the end of the quarter for STFX.

The second quarter was back and forth action as a five-point X-Men lead to start the frame resulted in a swing to a REDS five-point advantage towards the end of it.

UNB held a 46-43 lead at halftime as they outscored the X-Men 25-21 in the second quarter.

Burry scored 16 points in the first half for UNB, while Grant had 15 – all from three point range.

Vernon netted 17 for the X-Men and David Muenkat (Brampton, ON) scored 14 points.

The third quarter was more close action as the X-Men held an 18-13 advantage and a slim 61-59 lead after 30 minutes.

Fourth year X-Men guard Vernon paced the STFX offense, but REDS freshman guard Grant matched him in shooting. The pair exchanged three-point buckets to close out the third quarter.

After a Vegas Evans (Brampton, ON) basket to tie the game 61-61, STFX then went on a 14-point run to break open the match.

The home team was up by 20 points with three minutes to play at 87-67 and didn't look back, closing out the 92-77 win.

Vernon netted a game high 32 points and took home Subway player of the game honours for STFX. Muenkat had a double-double night with 23 points and 16 rebounds.

Grant was the player of the game for the REDS, scoring 24 points and adding six rebounds. He went 7-10 from three point range. Burry scored 19 and Marcus Barnes (Kitchener, ON) contributed 17.

Tonight's game marks the final one of the first term for both teams as AUS action takes a break over the holidays. Regular season action resumes on Friday, January 6th when STFX will host Cape Breton and UNB hosts Saint Mary's.


Recap courtesy Krista McKenna, STFX Athletics