X-Men respond with dominant win after Friday night loss

X-Men respond with dominant win after Friday night loss

By Thomas Becker

The St. FX X-Men had a message to send to the UPEI Panthers after Friday night's loss, and they let it be known following a convincing 96-67 win.

"We definitely had a message to send," said St. FX guard Dondre Reddick. "After yesterday's loss, we had something to prove, and I feel we proved that today." 

Reddick was a force all afternoon, as he finished with 21 points on 9-of-14 shooting to go along with 12 rebounds, three blocks, and two steals in just 24 minutes.

The X-Men opened the game on an 8-0 run, forcing UPEI to burn a quick timeout. After the breather, Reddick drilled back-to-back three-pointers followed by another one from Avan Nava to give their team a commanding 17-0 lead. 

UPEI settled down a bit and trimmed the deficit to 32-19 by the end of the quarter, thanks to their long distance shooting. They connected on three triples In the final two minutes to stay afloat. 

However, St. FX continued to get whatever they wanted on the offensive end, and defensively they were just as proficient as they held UPEI to just two points in the first 4:39 of the second quarter. As a result, they extended their lead to 44-23. And by the end of the half, that lead ballooned to 65-34. 

Out of the 11 players who saw the floor in the first half for the X-Men, six had at least six points, including Reddick and Ejim who reached double figures with 14 and 12 points, respectively. 

St. FX had complete control of the game from that point forward and never let their lead dip below 25, as they cruised to the 96-67 win. 

X-Men Deon Ejim finished with 18 points and 10 rebounds for the double-double, while Antoine Vernon chipped in with 11. 

"Tonight, there was a sense of urgency," Reddick said. "We lived with our defence. We trusted each other. And just got the job done." 

The Panthers sorely missed Abilash Surendran's presence in the middle, as the sophomore forward was ruled out with an injury a few hours before tipoff. He would've helped contain St. FX's ability to score effectively at the rim, but head coach Darrell Glenn isn't using that as an excuse. 

"We kind of reverted back to a team that when shots aren't falling, we're not really competing on the defensive end," Glenn said. "Win or lose, we want to take something from each game to help us get better. And I'm confident our guys will respond the right way," 

The Panthers head to Fredericton next Saturday to take on the UNB Reds, while the X-Men return home where they'll host the Memorial Sea-Hawks for a two-game set.

Photo Credit: Janessa Hogan