Kingston Cup nailbiter as Seawolves nearly edge 2nd place Mounties in Men’s basketball

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The UNB Saint John Seawolves were defeated in the Kingston Cup matchup against the visiting Mount Allison University Mounties on Sunday afternoon.

The annual game, which took place at the G. Forbes Athletics Center is fast turning into a rivalry between the Seawolves and the Mounties, and has been played each year at UNB Saint John since 2001. Both the men and women play for the handcrafted Kingston Cup, which was created by Doug Kingston in honour of his late wife Mary Kingston.

The game is hosted to showcase the young talent at both schools, and to preserve the memory of Mary Kingston. The funds raised during the competition are matched by the Student Representative Council and are given to two UNB Saint John students as bursaries at the Annual Athletics Awards Banquet.

This year, the Seawolves were narrowly defeated 90-82 in a thrilling match that many thought would go to into overtime.

Photo by Emily Fox

The first quarter started with a large run for the visiting Mounties, which allowed them to pass the five minute mark with a 13-4 lead over their hosts. Will Legere was able to get the Wolves back on the scoreboard with a layup and subsequent foul shot which put them within seven points of the energetic Mt. Allison team.

Unfortunately, the Wolves were unable to capitalize on the excitement, and the Mounties went on another 7-2 run, which ended the first quarter with a score of 25-13 for the visitors.

The beginning of the second quarter saw some major substitutions for the Wolves, but they were unable to stop the Mounties as Bradley Sanford sunk a three point basket within the first ten seconds.

This shot was followed by a 7-3 run for the Mounties, which was only stopped by a swift steal and fluid three pointer from the Seawolves’ newest acquisition, Liam Bourque. The Mounties responded with some shots of their own, and it wasn’t until there were less than two minutes left in the half that the Wolves were able to attack back.

Up 43-23, the Mounties then proceeded to foul both Liam Sipkema and Keegan Gray, both of whom sunk both of their foul shots. This was followed by two jumpers from Ben Tait, who contributed to the start of a comeback for the Wolves finishing the half down 45-32.

After the Saint John squad emerged from half-time, they showed a new life that hadn’t been present for the first two quarters.

Head coach Pete Vincent agreed with this statement after the game.

“We just didn’t decide to play until the second half…If we had played a solid 40 minutes, I would have felt better about. The last 20 were pretty good, but we just dug ourselves a 13 point hole and it was too hard to dig out of.”

The third quarter saw the Mounties take control at the beginning once again, but this time they were stopped by the Legere/H. Gray duo, as they combined for 22 of the Seawolves 28 third quarter points.

Legere and H. Gray’s performance was strong enough to put the Wolves within seven, as the third quarter ended with a score of 67-60 for the Mounties.

The fourth started with a line up substitution for the Wolves, which gave the bench a chance to shine as they brought the score within four points.

A few questionable foul calls on guard Stephen Ryan (13) allowed the visiting Mounties to pull ahead by five points. However, the Wolves were able to respond with key shots from K. Gray, which brought them back within three points with 2:23 left in the game.

The Wolves, knowing that the clock was winding down, began to foul in hopes of getting the ball back, but to no avail. The final buzzer rang out, and the Mounties emerged victorious with a score of 90-82.

“They are first or second in our league, and it’s nice that we can stay competitive with the top teams,” said Vincent. “We’re by no means giving things up.”

Legere, whose stats were good enough to guarantee him Player of the Game, was the high scorer for the Wolves with 25 points and 10 rebounds. Teammate H. Gray chipped in with 15 points of his own and four rebounds.

Bradley Fuller of the Mounties led all scorers with 30 points and four rebounds. Alex Chisholm added another 16 points and six rebounds for his team.

The Seawolves have now dropped to 4-13 on the season, while the Mounties have improved to 15-1.

The Mounties next game will occur on Saturday, February 11, when they host the Mount Saint Vincent Mystics. Tip off is scheduled for 7:00pm.

UNB Saint John is also scheduled to play on February 11, as they travel to Charlottetown to take on the Holland College Hurricanes. Tip off is scheduled at 2:00pm for the women, followed by a game time of 4:00pm for the men.

Games can be streamed online at acaatv.ca