Capers nip X-Women 75-72

Photo courtesy Dalton King
Photo courtesy Dalton King

Antigonish, N.S. - The visiting Cape Breton University Capers (12-6) scored a 75-72 win over the StFX X-Women (3-15) in AUS women's basketball action Saturday evening at the Oland Centre.

Spearheaded by 10 points from sophomore forward Hannah Brown (North Sydney, NS), the Capers jumped to a 14-3 edge after the opening five minutes of the first quarter.

After a 6-0 run, keyed by four points from Lindsay Lessard (Waterloo, ON) and a nifty assist to Kayla MacIntyre (Sydney, NS) for a lay-up, the X-Women trimmed the Caper lead to 18-13.

Spurred by six consecutive points from Adrianna Beck (Omaha, NE), including an old-fashioned three-point play - the hoop and the harm - and a shot from beyond the arc, along with a drive to the basket from Colleen Keane (Ajax, ON), the Capers took a 26-13 advantage after the first quarter.

After Alison Keough (Marion Bridge, NS) gave the Capers a 15-point lead with a basket on the first possession of the second quarter, the X-Women went on a 23-8 burst - led by 15 points from fifth-year senior Kolbi Roper (North Vancouver, BC) - to knot the match-up 36-36 with less than one minute remaining before intermission.

On a Jalynn Skeir (Halifax, NS) buzzer-beating jumper, the Capers took a 38-36 lead at halftime.

In a back-and-forth third quarter, Cape Breton took a 48-42 edge, with Keough scoring six points in the surge.

After a three-point play by freshman point guard Chelsea Provo (East Preston, NS), the X-Women sliced the Caper lead to 50-47.

With her 22nd point, Roper knotted the game at 51-51, while Shannon Hatch (Arzo, Switzerland) gave the X-Women their first lead - 53-51 - since the opening basket of the game, when she nabbed a steal and scored on a breakaway lay-up.

After four straight points from Skeir to close out the period, the Capers took a 55-53 after three quarters.

In the fourth quarter, on the strength of seven quick points from Lessard, including a three-point play, the X-Women took their largest lead at 60-57, but Beck responded with another shot from beyond the arc to tie it at 60.

After Roper drew her fourth foul, the Capers went on a 11 to six run to take a 71-66 advantage.

The X-Women responded to cut the lead to one point, but they could get no closer.

A last-second game-tying three-pointer from Lessard rimmed out just before the final horn.

For the Capers, Keane - the Subway player of the game - led her team with a double-double - 17 points and 11 rebounds - while adding six assists and five steals.

Skeir, with 14 points, Keough (13), Beck (12) and Brown (11) also hit double digits in scoring.

Keough added five rebounds, three assists, one steal and one blocked shot, while Brown chipped in six rebounds, and two assists.

For the X-Women, Roper - in her final home court game - delivered a monster performance with 30 points and 17 rebounds, including eight on the offensive glass, while adding five steals, one assist and one blocked shot.

Lessard scored 23 points, while also contributing four rebounds, two steals, one assist and one blocked shot.

The game also served as Senior Night for the X-Women program, with Roper, Lessard, Hatch, MacIntyre and Courtney Kilyk (Fonthill, ON) honoured for their contributions to StFX Athletics.

The Capers will return wrap-up the regular season with a pair home games versus the Dalhousie Tigers (Friday, Feb. 26) and Saint Mary's Huskies (Saturday, Feb. 27) at Sullivan Fieldhouse in Sydney.

The X-Women will be on the road to Saint John's next weekend, where they will tip-off against the Memorial SeaHawks on those same evenings.