The St. Francis X-Men behind a strong first-half performance from team captain Jeremy Dunn defeated the UPEI Panthers 78-69 and advanced to the finals of the 2011 Rod Shoveller Memorial.
The Panthers came out inspired behind the hot shooting of Jonathan Cooper and grabbed a 44-39 half-time advantage. UPEI continued to control the game in the third quarter and led 63-60 with 5:43 remaining in the fourth.
The deeper X-Men continue to chip away at the lead and put together a game-changing 7-0 run, grabbing their first lead at 67-63 with under four minutes remaining and never looking back.
Dunn scored 18 of his game-high 25 points in the first-half to lead the X-Men. Will Donkoh (Ottawa, ON) added 11 points, six rebounds and was also instrumental in yet another X-men come from behind victory.
Fifth-Year Guard Jonathan Cooper (Mississauga, Ont.) had the hot for the Panthers in the first-half and finished with a team-high 21 points and ten rebounds. Senior forward Manock Lual (Ottawa, Ont.) came alive in the second-half and finished with 16 points and eight rebounds.
The X-Men stay undefeated at 15-0 and will now look to repeat as tournament champions against the winner of the Concordia Stingers/Dalhousie Tigers game.
ST. FX has won five of the last ten Rod Shoveller tournaments.
Both teams will meet again on January 15th at the Chi-Wan Young Sports Centre and will wrap-up their AUS conference head-to-head series on February 12 at the Oland Centre.
Bol Kong, last night’s hero, re-aggravated a knee injury and was inactive for the X-men.