ANTIGONISH, NS - The St. F.X. X-Women (1-2) scored their first Atlantic University Sport (AUS) regular season victory since 2017 with a thrilling 96-88 win over the UPEI Panthers (3-1) Saturday evening on Coach 'K' Court at the St. F.X. Saputo Centre.
In a back-and-forth opening five minutes, X-Women freshman forward Marley Bonnick (Brampton, ON) scored eight points in helping the home side to a 9-3 edge, while guards Jenna Mae Ellsworth (Charlottetown, PE) and Reese Baxendale (Apohaqui, NB) drained three-pointers to knot the contest.
Culminated by a shot from downtown from Lauren Fleming (Sussex, NB), the Panthers made a 13-0 spurt to take a 16-9 edge.
Keyed by Jamie McCarron (New Glasgow, NS) and Emma Norris (Edmonton, AB), both with three points apiece off the bench, the X-Women trimmed the deficit.
The Panthers led 23-19 after 10 minutes.
In the second quarter, on the strength of five consecutive points from Lexi MacInnis (Mermaid, PE), including a three-pointer, the Panthers were up 32-27 at the midway point of the frame.
When Ellsworth completed an old-fashioned three-point play, after muscling in a lay-up against two X-Women defenders, UPEI took a nine-point advantage with less than three minutes remaining until halftime.
Kim Kingsbury (Nepean, ON) kept the X-Women within striking distance, scoring seven consecutive points, including one shot from beyond the arc.
The Panthers led 45-38 at intermission.
Early in the third quarter, Kingsbury picked up where she left off, securing a pair of offensive rebounds and scoring five points.
After a three-pointer from freshman guard Aliyah Fraser (New Glasgow, NS), the X-Women led 51-50.
Baxendale meshed five straight points, including a breakaway lay-up after a steal, to give the Panthers a three-point edge - at 55-52.
After four more points by Fraser, including an acrobatic put-back on an offensive rebound, St. F.X. were up 60-57.
Kingsbury put an exclamation point on the third quarter, one in which the X-Women outscored the Panthers 29 to 16, with a deep shot from three-point range.
The White and Blue led 67-61 heading to the fourth quarter.
Fraser started the fourth quarter with a three-pointer from the corner to give the X-Women a 70-61 lead, their largest of the game.
After back-to-back threes from Fraser and fifth-year senior Jamie McCarron (New Glasgow, NS) the X-Women took a double-digit edge - 76-65 - with seven minutes remaining, and the Panthers called a timeout.
With the X-Women up by 15, the Panthers battled back and cut the deficit to 82-73 on a three-pointer from Karla Yepez (Quito, Ecuador), but the home side answered, with McCarron - from beyond the arc - and Fraser, on a hoop-and-harm, extending the advantage to 88-75 with less than four minutes remaining in regulation.
The game Panthers, led by Baxendale, sliced the X-Women edge to five points, but they could get no closer.
Fraser and Kingsbury, Subway co-players of the game, led St. F.X. with 27 and 26 points, respectively, while McCarron also scored in double digits, with 11.
Fraser added five rebounds, three assists and two steals, while Kingsbury chipped in six rebounds and three assists.
Fleming fashioned a double-double, adding 10 rebounds.
The X-Women will be back on the court Wednesday, Nov. 13, when they travel to Halifax to face the Saint Mary's Huskies, while the Panthers will return to action Friday, Nov. 15, when they host the Dalhousie Tigers in Charlottetown.
Tip-off for both match-ups is 6 p.m.
Recap by St. FX Athletics / Photos by Rachel Drummond