St. FX (2-0) 82, Laval (0-2) 66… 6’0″ sophomore shooting guard Tristan Ross went a perfect 7 for 7 from the floor including making all 4 of his three pointers, turning the game around mid-way through the second quarter with 3 consecutive makes as the X-Men turned back the clocks back to their up-tempo, pressing style, overwhelming the Rouge et Or on Day two of the Stu Aberdeen Classic in Wolfville at Acadia.
With Laval leading by 8 and taking the play to X, Rouge et Or chose to drop back into a 2/3 zone which X immediately exploited with the silky smooth catch-and-shoot action of Ross, who has matured tremendously with his decision making as a sophomore. X was able to quickly grab the lead and the momentum allowed their athletes to push up defensively and go to their pressure after makes, creating turnovers which helped build leads as large as 21 in the second half.
Ross’ shooting clearly was infectious as X-Men shot 9 for 15 as a team from downtown, getting 15 from 6’3″ lefty Julius Antoine plus a 16-point/13-rebound double double from solid 6’7″ forward Kevin Bercy who continues to provide consistent work at both ends inside for X. Laval got 17 points from 6’1″ sophomore lefty guard Vladimir Thomas, an emerging star who shoots it and gets by defenders – he has 17 points on 3-5 from downtown. 6’6″ Alexandre Leclerc added 13 for Laval but shot only 1 for 7 from downtown, missing several open looks.
Long-time X Head Coach Steve Konchalski was again guardedly elated after this afternoon’s win, commenting: “We are playing together and with enthusiasm. With Tristan, the best thing about freshmen is that they become sophomores and, while he had a strong first year, the improvements in his maturity and decision making are clearly evident this season… We’ll see what we need to do tomorrow (against #1 Carleton) to get to the next level.”
In Fredericton, Saint Mary’s took leads as large as 20 points early in the third, dominating Maine-Fort Kent, an NAIA school 84-73 as five Huskies hit double digits. Saint Mary’s meets Bishop’s tomorrow and with a victory will capture the Eric Garland tournament championship. Gaiters have a match tonight against host UNB.
In Halifax, #3 Dalhousie Tigers pulled away with their depth and “d”, getting 20 points from Sven Stammberger, one of 3 Tigers in double figures in an easy 83-54 win over ACAA/CCAA Mount St. Vincent Mystics, Dal coach Rick Plato‘s former program. Prized 6’5″ freshman Alex Carson added 9 points in his CIS debut for the Tigers. Tigers host CCAA power Holland College tomorrow afternoon at DalPlex.