ANTIGONISH, N.S. (from UNB Varsity Reds) – The UNB Varsity Reds beat the St FX X-Men in a close 86-84 game that went down to the final second, on Saturday night, on Coach K Court at the St FX Oland Centre. The win was worth four points in the Atlantic University Sport standings for the Varsity Reds, who took over sole possession of second place.
UNB held the lead throughout the opening quarter, going up 21-14 after the first 10 minutes of play.
The X-Men chipped away at that lead in the second. A Tristen Ross (Truro, N.S.) three-pointer, with three minutes left in the half, pulled the X-Men to within five points, then Julius Antoine’s (Vaughan, Ont.) jumper at the end of the quarter tied the game 42-42 heading into half-time.
The X-Men held U SPORTS career-leading scorer Javon Masters (Kitchener, Ont.) to eight points in the first half, but he came out with a strong second to pace the V-Reds.
In a close third quarter, Masters netted 10 points.
Midway through the quarter UNB’s Will Legere (Amherst, N.S.) and St FX’s Cameron Walker (Dallas, Tex.) both received technical fouls and were ejected from the game after they got tangled up under the UNB net in a brief tussle and exchanged words.
With UNB up 63-60 heading into the fourth quarter, the teams put on a show in an exciting game that went down to the final seconds. Exchanging baskets throughout the quarter, they were tied 76-76 with under five minutes to go.
A Masters jumper with 19 seconds left gave the Varsity Reds an 85-84 edge. Hess Mayele (Laval, Que.) gave the visitors a two point lead, 86-84 after sinking one of his two free throws with seven seconds left on the clock.
Antoine had a chance to tie the game but came short on a lay-up attempt. Fouled on the play, he missed the first free throw and St FX failed to come up with the rebound on the second attempt.
With only one second on the clock, the Varsity Reds held on for the win.
Jesse Kendall (Guelph, Ont.) scored eight points off the UNB bench in the final frame, including a pair of key three-pointers, and Masters added nine to his tally.
The Player of the Game, Masters closed the night with 27 points, eight rebounds and dished seven assists. Kendal scored 11 and Tyrell Leotard (Ajax, Ont.) and Alec Parise (Miscouche, P.E.I.) each contributed 10 points apiece for UNB. Cooper Wilkes (Sydney, Australia) matched Masters eight rebounds.
Antoine scored a game-high 28 points for St FX and had five rebounds and seven assists.
The X-Men host Saint Mary’s on Tuesday, in an 8 p.m. tip-off. UNB will be back in action, at home, on Friday, February 16. They host UPEI in an 8 p.m. tip.