X-Women headed to AUS championship tournament with win over Capers

Photo credit Bryan Kennedy
Photo credit Bryan Kennedy

Antigonish, NS - For the first time since the 2013-2014 season, the STFX X-Women basketball team is heading to the six-team Atlantic University Sport playoffs, thanks to a 78-65 win over the Cape Breton Capers on Saturday evening on Coach K Court in Antigonish.

Finishing with a 9-11 record, the win clinched them fifth place in the AUS standings. STFX finished tied with Memorial with 18 points but held the tie breaker over the Sea-Hawks. Cape Breton (7-13), with 14 points, finishes outside of playoff contention.

Player of the game Katie Upham (North River, NS) lead the way for the home team, with 19 points, 9 rebounds and four assists. Ekaterina Karchevskaya (Mogilev, BY) had 16 points, with three helpers and three rebounds, while Shannon Neita (Toronto, ON) picked up 12 points along with eight rebounds.

CBU's Amanda Cruickshank (Montreal, QC) lead all scorers with 21 points and six rebounds, while Kiyara Letlow (Toronto, ON) had a double-double, with 16 points and 18 rebounds, and Hailey MacLeod (Marion Bridge, NS) scored 14 points with four rebounds.

With both teams fighting for a spot in the AUS playoffs, STFX held a three point lead after the first five minutes of the game. A triple from Hannah Smith (Bedford, NS) gave the Capers a one point lead with just under two minutes to play, but back to back threes from Jaya D'Souza (Brampton, ON) gave the X-Women a 15-14 advantage going into the second quarter.

STFX's Kristine Cooper (Hamilton, ON) opened the scoring with a three-pointer, kicking off a seven point run for the home team. A score from MacLeod ended the Capers' scoring drought with four minutes gone in the quarter, and the visitors came within one point before a STFX timeout with three minutes to play before half. CBU's Letlow made a jumper with six seconds left to tie the game at 30 at halftime.

The teams traded buckets early in the quarter, with CBU pulling out to a two point lead in the first four minutes. STFX went on a 5-0 run late in the quarter, before a Cape Breton timeout. A three pointer from Upham with 30 seconds to go made it a 52-46 game heading to the final quarter. 

The Capers battled back early in the final quarter, pulling to within one point with four minutes gone. However, a five point run by STFX extended their lead to seven with four minutes left, and their suffocating defence kept the visitors from mounting a comeback.

The game marked the final regular season game for graduating STFX student-athletes Katie Upham, Avery Walker and Elizabeth Kennedy.

The X-Women now look ahead to the AUS Championship being played next weekend, Feb. 23-25 in Halifax at the Scotiabank Centre. The X-Women will meet fourth place UPEI (10-10) in the quarterfinals on Friday at 1:00 pm.


Recap courtesy Matt Draper, STFX Athletics