Strong fourth quarter leads X-Men to comeback victory over Sea-Hawks

Photo credit Bryan Kennedy
Photo credit Bryan Kennedy

ANTIGONISH, NS - The STFX X-Men made it two wins in a row on the weekend, defeating the Memorial Sea-Hawks 85-75 in AUS men's basketball action in a comeback victory on Saturday night at Coach K Court.

The Sea-Hawks held the lead through three quarters of play, but a 21-8 fourth quarter comeback from the U SPORTS No. 8 ranked X-Men pushed them to the win.

Player of the game Gatluak James (Windsor, ON) led the way for the X-Men, with 20 points and eight rebounds, while Bennett Grumbach (Toronto, ON) added 15 points and four rebounds, and Dondre Reddick (Antigonish, NS) had 13 points and nine rebounds.

For Memorial, Flynn Boardman-Raffett (London, EG) lead all scorers with 21 points, with Nicholas Tuff (St. John's, NL) dropping 13 points with three rebounds, and Emanuel Ring (St. John's, NL) adding 12 points and seven rebounds.

It was a tight start to the game, with the teams trading buckets in the first five minutes, with STFX leading by three halfway through the quarter. STFX rookie Koat Thomas (Waterloo, ON) got a rise out of the crowd with a big dunk with four minutes left to play, while the Sea-Hawks pulled ahead late, and held a 24-19 lead going into the second quarter.

Memorial extended their lead early, going on an 11-2 run in the first four minutes. Turnovers were big for Sea-Hawks, who were able to create 12 points from takeaways, versus two for the X-Men in that time. STFX responded with a short run of their own, but the score was 46-36 in favour of the visitors. Memorial finished the first half shooting 48 per cent from the field, with STFX shooting 32 per cent.

The teams traded scores for much of the third quarter, with the X-Men pulling to within a four-point slate in the quarter. Tempers flared again on Saturday, with both teams receiving technical fouls just after Memorial called a time-out. The STFX run continued though, with Reddick pulling his team even with just over a minute left. Memorial's Jodick Moudiandambu (Hamilton, ON) hit a three pointer at the buzzer to give his team a 67-64 lead heading into the final quarter.

A hyped up home crowd and an 11-1 run helped push the home team to a seven point lead halfway through the fourth quarter, and STFX continued to outscore the visitors for the win.

The victory pushed the X-Men (7-3) into sole possession of first place in the AUS standings, two ahead of Memorial (6-6) and Cape Breton (6-5).

The X-Men are on the road next weekend, when they will take on Acadia on Saturday, January 13. The Sea-Hawks are off next weekend and will take to the court again on January 19, when they will host UNB.


Recap courtesy Matt Draper, STFX Athletics