X-Men split weekend games with Panthers

Photo credit Bryan Kennedy
Photo credit Bryan Kennedy

Antigonish, NS - A strong fourth quarter and shooting 50 per cent from the three-point-line helped the UPEI Panthers drop the STFX X Men 76-71 on Coach K Court Saturday afternoon. The Panthers avenged a blowout loss from the previous night to the No. 6 U SPORTS ranked X-Men, who picked up their third loss of the season.

Panthers guard Elijah Miller (Rexdale, ON) picked up Subway player of the game honours, dropping 30 points, including 13 from the charity stripe and nine from three-point land. Isaiah Ankra (North York, ON) also had a strong game for UPEI, scoring 18 of his 21 points off the three-ball.

Deon Ejim (Brampton, ON), lead the way for STFX, scoring 16 points and picking up five rebounds. Avan Nava (Mississauga, ON) added 12 points for the home team while David Muenkat (Brampton, ON) also scored 12 while picking up 18 rebounds for the double-double game.

STFX came out strong, with a 11-0 run in the first few minutes before the Panthers were able to tickle the twine. The Panthers clawed their way back into the game though, and closed the lead to five points about halfway through the quarter. Defence was strong on both sides, with neither team allowed many open looks early on, and the quarter wrapped up with the X-Men leading 22-17. 

Ankra went 4-4 from beyond the arc in the first 10 minutes, collecting 12 points, while Muenkat had a big quarter himself, collecting six points and four rebounds.

STFX distributed the ball well in the second half, while the three ball continued to be key for the Panthers. The teams traded buckets, throughout the quarter, and UPEI was able to draw even, with the teams hitting the locker rooms at halftime with the scored deadlocked at 41-41.

Ejim had 10 points and four rebounds in the first half for X, while Miller also had 10 points, along with two rebounds and three assists.

The X-Men went on an 11-3 run in the first five minutes of the third quarter, leading to a time out for the Panthers. UPEI then went on a run of their own, cutting the lead to five at one point, but their three point percentage cooled off and the teams switched ends with X leading by five, 61-56.

It was UPEI with a run early in the final quarter, with a pair of three pointers giving them a one point lead with less than two minutes gone. The STFX faithful urged their team on, but UPEI kept the pressure high.

A timely three ball from Ankra gave UPEI a two-point lead with three minutes left, and X-Men head coach Tyrell Vernon called a timeout to regroup his squad. UPEI made it a five-point game with 45 seconds left and X wasn't able to bridge the gap. Miller was key down the stretch for the Panthers, scoring nine points in the final three minutes, including seven points from the charity stripe.

The Panthers next hit the court on Thursday, when they will visit UNB for a four-point game. The X-Men are on the road next weekend for a tilt with Saint Mary's in Halifax on Saturday night.


Recap courtesy Matt Draper, STFX Athletics