X-Men come out on top in battle with Panthers

Photo credit Bryan Kennedy
Photo credit Bryan Kennedy

ANTIGONISH, NS - The STFX X-Men earned a crucial two points with an 87-79 win over the visiting UPEI Panthers in AUS men's basketball action on Saturday night on Coach K Court.

Player of the Game Dondre Reddick (Antigonish, NS) had a huge game for the home team, leading all scorers with 19 points, seven rebounds and three assists, while Antoine Vernon (Hamilton, ON) was close behind with 17 points, four assists, and four rebounds. Bennett Grumbach (Toronto, ON) chipped in 16 points for the X-Men, including 12 from beyond the arc.

Kamari Scott (Malton, ON) had 17 points, eight rebounds and five steals for the Panthers, with Owen Smith (Harvey York County, NB) adding 14 points, and Cameron Brown (Scarborough, ON) knocking down 13 points off the bench with five rebounds and three blocks.

The game was close early on, with both teams coming out full tilt. The teams exchanged leads a few times, with a highlight lay-up from Brown giving the Panthers a three-point lead with about three minutes left to play in the quarter. A Gatluak James (Windsor, ON) three followed by another two points on the next possession gave the X-Men a 22-21 lead going into the second quarter.

The two teams continued to go at each other, with the Panthers tying the game with about four minutes gone in the quarter. Three minutes later the X-Men recaptured the lead, with back-to-back threes from Vernon making it a seven point game with two minutes to go. Reddick hit back-to-back triples in the final two minutes to get the crowd on their feet, and the half ended with STFX out front 51-44.

Strong defence and some turnovers kept both teams off the scoreboard for the first two minutes of the third quarter, but it was UPEI who hit twine first. A 12-3 run by the Panthers gave them the lead halfway through the quarter, and STFX called a timeout to stop the momentum. The X-Men then went on a nine-point run of their own to regain the lead, and the quarter ended 68-60.

The Panthers held the scoring advantage early in the fourth quarter, making it a four-point deficit with four minutes gone. The teams traded scores with STFX holding a three-point lead with two minutes left. An acrobatic and-one play from Reddick extended the lead to six, and the home team held on for the win.

The teams will wrap up their back-to-back series with another game on Coach K Court on Sunday at 4 p.m.


Recap courtesy Matt Draper, STFX Athletics