First place X-Men earn win over Reds

Photo credit James West
Photo credit James West

(FREDERICTON, NB) The Atlantic University Sport-leading STFX X-Men scored an 86-64 win over the UNB REDS in a four-point game Sunday afternoon, at UNB's Richard J. Currie Center.

David Muenkat (Brampton, ON) led the X-Men with 18 points and nine rebounds and was named the Subway Player of the Game.

"We did what we were supposed to do, and it helped us build a strong lead," said Meunkat. "We had kind of a slow start on offence today, but we stuck together on defence, strung together some stops and were able to take a lead eventually."

The REDS started strong, riding back-to-back Norm Burry (Grafton, NB) baskets to an early 5-0 lead.

Eden Otshudi knocked down a late first quarter three-point shot to give UNB a 15-12 lead, but the X-Men answered right back and the game was tied 15-15 after one.

Late in the second quarter, the X-Men established a lead and never looked back.

The visitors were up 36-25 at the break and led 61-45 after three quarters.

Their size and aggression proved too much for the REDS to overcome and STFX won 86-64.

"We lost the rebounding battle 58 to 29, lost the offensive rebounding battle 24 to 3, so that means we were one shot and done, we didn't really get any second chances or second looks at the basket," said REDS' assistant coach Jeff Morrison, running the team for head coach Joe Salerno. "We turned the ball over way too many times, so even if we cut their points off turnovers and second chance points, we're probably looking at a different final score."

Deon Ejim (Brampton, ON) scored 16 points and Avan Nava (Mississauga, ON) dropped 15 for the X-Men.

Michael Utsalo (Brampton, ON) came of the X bench to grab 14 rebounds.

Marcus Barnes led the REDS with 16 points while Burry contributed nine.

Coming off the bench, Otshudi scored nine too.

"It's not the result that we wanted, obviously," said Coach Morrison. "That's a good team that we just played. I thought second half, they really turned up the heat on defence and we struggled to get flow on offence."

"I feel like their energy kind of died off towards the end," said Muenkat. "It's tough when your shots aren't falling and you're letting opponents score," he added, sympathetically.

With the win, the X-Men are now 14-3.

The REDS fall to 6-11.

The X-Men will host Acadia, Friday night in a game scheduled to start at 8:00pm.

The REDS will be at Memorial for the first of a two-game weekend series against the Sea-Hawks. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30pm Atlantic.

"We don't really have time to feel too sorry for ourselves," said Morrison. "We've got a bit of a shorter week coming up, going to Newfoundland next weekend for some huge games. They're basically must-win, at this point in the year."


RECAP BY: Andy Campbell/UNB Athletics