First place X-Men close out season with win over Huskies

Photo credit Bryan Kennedy
Photo credit Bryan Kennedy

Antigonish, NS – The U SPORTS No. 5 ranked STFX X-Men closed out AUS regular season play with a 93-82 victory over the Saint Mary's Huskies Saturday night on Coach K Court at the STFX Saputo Centre.

The first place X-Men wrap up the season with a 17-3 record and have punched their ticket to the AUS semi-final playoff game next Saturday, February 25th at 3:00 pm in Halifax at the Subway AUS Championship, hosted at Scotiabank Centre.

The Huskies (8-12) needed a win tonight to clinch a playoff berth and finished just out of contention in seventh place in the AUS standings.

STFX got out to an explosive start in the first quarter, building up a 34-20 lead over the visiting Huskies after 10 minutes.  

Team leading scorer Dondre Reddick (Antigonish, NS) came into the game with an agenda and sparked the X-Men offense early on, scoring 11 points in the opening five minutes of the first quarter, including a pair of three-pointers.

The X-Men were strong on both sides of the ball in the second quarter, holding the Huskies to four points in the opening six minutes of play, while continuing to build up a lead on offense.

After outscoring the Huskies 18-9 in the second quarter, the X-Men took a 52-29 lead into the locker room at halftime.

Reddick scored 13 points in the opening half for X and Avan Nava (Mississauga, ON) had 12. Jayrell Diggs (East Preston, NS) netted eight points for SMU in the first half of play.

The Huskies outscored the X-Men 29-23 in the third quarter, though STFX maintained a 20+ lead as the gap was too large to close for the Huskies. STFX was up 75-58 after the third.  

The Huskies played a tighter fourth quarter and outpaced the X-Men 24-18 in the final frame. The game ended with the X-Men holding an 11-point victory, 93-82.

Subway player of the game Avan Nava finished with a game-high 23 points for the X-Men and dished four assists. Reddick had a double-double night scoring 20 points and pulling in 13 rebounds. David Muenkat (Brampton, ON) contributed 17 points and six rebounds in the X win.

Diggs was the Huskies player of the game as he scored 23 points and had seven boards. Jackson Enyinna (Port Harcourt, Nigeria) scored 21 and Shae Linton-Brown (Toronto, ON) added 16 points for SMU.

Tonight marked the final AUS regular season game for both teams. Following the game, X-Men head coach Tyrell Vernon honoured his graduating student-athletes, Steven Levniac, Avan Nava, David Muenkat and Michael Utsalo.

The Subway AUS men's basketball championship is being held February 24-26 at the Scotiabank Centre in Halifax.


Recap courtesy Krista McKenna, STFX Athletics