Huskies pull away in fourth quarter to beat X-Men

Photo credit Bryan Kennedy
Photo credit Bryan Kennedy

Antigonish, NS – The Saint Mary's Huskies rolled out of Coach K Court with a 72-62 victory over the STFX X-Men in midweek action, improving to 8-6 on the season. The X-Men drop to 9-5.

The Huskies took the lead late in the fourth quarter to come away with the victory over an X-Men squad with a short bench. STFX were without several key starters due to injuries including Deon Ejim (Brampton, ON), Gatluak James Windsor, ON), Antoine Vernon (Hamilton, ON) and Steven Levnaic (Hamilton, ON).

The teams traded baskets throughout the first quarter with the Huskies having a 19-16 edge after the opening 10 minutes. Marc-Denault Gabriel (Montreal, QC) knocked down eight points for the Huskies while Dondre Reddick (Antigonish, NS) replied with nine for the X-Men.

The Huskies began to pull away four minutes into the second quarter. Shae Linton-Brown (Toronto, ON) drained a three-pointer to give them a 28-21 lead but STFX's Bennett Grumbach (Toronto, ON) replied with a three of his own. Matt Pennell (St. John's, NF) provided an offensive spark off the X bench late in the quarter and the X-Men were up by three, 43-40 at halftime.

Grumbach scored 12 points for the X-Men in the opening half, while Gabriel netted four points in the second quarter to lead the Huskies with 12 points at half.

A three-pointer by Huskies guard Jayrell Diggs (East Preston, NS) tied the game early in the third quarter. Offense sputtered for both squads and the game remained tied at 47 midway through the frame. In the low scoring quarter the Huskies had an 11-10 advantage but trailed the X-Men 53-51 after 30 minutes.

The score remained close in the fourth quarter. Diggs was key from beyond the arc, draining a couple of timely threes, then a steal and basket by Brown gave the Huskies a 63-57 lead with four minutes to play. The Huskies continued to gain momentum and a pair of jumpers from Devawn White (Montreal, QC) off the SMU bench gave them a 67-62 lead with just under two minutes to play.

STFX ran out of steam down the stretch and the Huskies held on for the win.

Player of the game Gabriel finished with a double-double night scoring 18 and pulling down a game-high 18 rebounds. Diggs had 17 points and contributed four assists, while Brown scored 16 and had 10 rebounds and five steals in the win.

Reddick had a double-double night for the X-Men, scoring 18 points and hauling in 10 rebounds. Grumbach scored 14 points and both Upshaw and Jeremiah Usiosefe (Hamilton, ON) had 10, with Usiosefe also nabbing 13 rebounds.

Saint Mary's is back in action Saturday night when they host UPEI in an 8:00 pm game. The X-Men will travel to Sydney Friday night to play Cape Breton, also at 8:00 pm.


Recap courtesy Krista McKenna, STFX Athletics