X-Men go undefeated at Laval tournament

X-Men go undefeated at Laval tournament

The U SPORTS No. 8 ranked STFX X-Men played a trio of exhibition games at the Laval Rouge et Or Tournament in Quebec City at PEPS. The X-Men posted a 3-0 record with wins over Laval, Ottawa and Winnipeg.

They played the host Laval squad Thursday evening and came away with an 87-77 win in overtime. The Rouge et Or currently have a 1-5 record in league play in fourth place in the RSEQ conference.

Laval outhustled the X-Men 24-15 in the first quarter of play, but the X-Men turned things around in the second, outscoring the host team 20-11 as they drew even 35-35 at halftime. Laval then won the third quarter 24-14 and the X-Men took the fourth quarter by the same point margin, 24-14 to force the 73-73 tie at the end of regulation, needing overtime to decide the match.

Deon Ejim was strong for the X-Men in the overtime frame and a Bennet Grumbach three-pointer two minutes in gave the blue and white an 80-73 lead. They went on to hold the Rouge et Or to only four points in overtime on route to the 87-77 win.

Ejim finished with a game-high 20 points, as did Dondre Reddick, who also contributed eight rebounds. Grumbach finished with 15 points, all from three-point range.


On Friday evening the X-Men tipped off against the U SPORTS No. 1 ranked Ottawa Gee Gees, who are in 10-0 in first place atop the OUA East conference. The STFX X-Men prevailed with a 104-81 victory, handing the Gee Gees their first loss of the season, including all regular season and non-conference games. The win also avenged a 90-66 exhibition loss to the same Ottawa squad at the UBCO Fall Classic earlier this season.

Reddick paced the X-Men offense with 21 points on the afternoon, and added six rebounds. Koat Thomas scored 20 off the X bench and had seven rebounds.

Antoine Vernon scored 13 of his 15 points in the opening half as the X-Men built up a 50-44 at halftime, after they trailed 31-18 following the first quarter. The big second quarter saw the blue and white outscore the top ranked Gee Gees 32-13. Reddick had 12 points in the first half.

The X-Men went on to edge the Ottawa squad 22-18 in the third quarter, then ran away with the game in the fourth, outpacing Ottawa 32-19 on route to the win. Ejim and Gatluak James each scored 11 points in the winning effort and hauled in eight and seven rebounds, respectively. Brock Newton was the top contributor for the Gee Gees with 18 points and five rebounds.

BOX SCORE – STFX vs Ottawa

STFX rounded out the tournament with a 95-92 win over the U SPORTS No. 6 ranked Winnipeg Wesmen. The Wesmen are in fifth place in the competitive Canada West conference with a 7-3 record to date.

The X-Men lead throughout the game but had to fight of a late fourth quarter comeback by the Wesmen.

They held a slim 21-20 lead after the first quarter and outscored Winnipeg 25-18 in the second to take a 46-38 lead at halftime. The third quarter saw both teams score 22 points apiece, before the Wesmen poured it on in the fourth quarter. The X-Men were up for the task however, as time ran out and they held onto the three point win.

James scored 20 points for the X-Men, while Ejim had a double-double game with 15 points and 12 rebounds. Reddick scored 14 and contributed eight boards and Steven Levnaic scored 14 off the X bench.

BOX SCORE – STFX vs Winnipeg

The X-Men currently sit tied for second place in the AUS conference with a 5-3 record. They are back in action on Friday, January 5th when they host the first place Memorial Sea-Hawks (6-4) in an 8:00 pm game at Coach K Court at the STFX Saputo Centre. The same two teams will square off again on Saturday evening, also at 8:00 pm.


Recap courtesy Krista McKenna, STFX Athletics