Sea-Hawks weren't half-bad

John
John Browne
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But that's not nearly good enough against St. FX

The Memorial Sea-Hawks played half a great game Sunday at the Field House, but that doesn't cut it against the No. 3-ranked team in the country.

The Sea-Hawks (1-6) had a five-point lead on the St. Francis Xavier X-Men (6-0) after the first quarter and trailed by just a single point at the half of their Atlantic universities men's basketball game, But the visitors started to pull away in the third quarter and ran away from the Sea-Hawks down the stretch for a 96-67 decision.

Steve Earles (11) of the Memorial Sea-Hawks knocks over William Silver of the St. Francis Xavier X-Men as he drives to the basket during their AUS mens basketball game at the Field House Sunday night. In the photo on page D1, Jason Shepherd (40) of Memor

The Memorial Sea-Hawks played half a great game Sunday at the Field House, but that doesn't cut it against the No. 3-ranked team in the country.

The Sea-Hawks (1-6) had a five-point lead on the St. Francis Xavier X-Men (6-0) after the first quarter and trailed by just a single point at the half of their Atlantic universities men's basketball game, But the visitors started to pull away in the third quarter and ran away from the Sea-Hawks down the stretch for a 96-67 decision.

The opening game of the two-game series started 7 p.m. Sunday because the X-Men's scheduled Saturday flight from Halifax was cancelled by weather, forcing postponement of a game that night. The rematch between the two teams is set for 1 p.m. today at the Field House. Admission is free.

The Sea-Hawks' effort on Sunday, for the most part, was there, but the execution was missing. That's how Memorial coach Peter Benoite summed up a game which turned into a complete rout in the final seven minutes.

"It wasn't for lack of effort," noted Benoite. "The guys are working extremely hard in games and practices. I've no issue with the effort, but now it comes down to the execution of what we are doing ... focusing for a full 40 minutes, matching the intensity of the other teams. We won't get better until we match. You take five minutes off and you give up 15 points, that's hard to recover from," said Benoite.

Jason Shepherd and Justin Grainger each netted 16 points for the Sea-Hawks, one more than Steve Earles. Robbie Habib sank 10.

Christian Upshaw was tops for the X-Men with 21 points. Charlie Spurr had 17 points, including four three-pointers, for the winners. Alberto Rodrigues chipped in with 10 points for St. FX and dominated on the boards with 15 rebounds.

St. Francis also had 15 steals in the game as MUN turned the ball over 19 times and had difficulty getting a stop for most of the second half. St. Francis outscored MUN 34-12 in the fourth quarter.

"Even in the third quarter when we scored 21 points, we still gave up 38," pointed out Benoite. "If we can't keep teams in the 70s, it is going to be awful hard for us to get a win.

"We are playing well enough in the first half, but teams adjust and up the intensity in the second half. I mean, how many offensive boards did we give up?" Benoite asked while shrugging his shoulders.

St. FX outrebounded MUN 38-31, and had 13 offensive boards.

Ante Samodol, MUN's best rebounder and leading scorer off the bench, didn't play due to an ankle injury, but Benoite said there is a chance he'll play today. If not, he should be ready to go against UPEI next week.

"We were undermanned today, but that's the way it is going to be sometimes," said Benoite. "We just didn't get someone to step up and take over the game for us."

jbrowne@thetelegram.com

Organizations: Sea-Hawks, Field House

Geographic location: Halifax

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  • Andrew
    July 02, 2010 - 13:26

    surprise surprise

  • Andrew
    July 01, 2010 - 20:12

    surprise surprise