The UNB Varsity Reds defeated the visiting Dalhousie Tigers by a score of 74-66. A hard fought game for both teams, which saw the lead exchange hands many times.
After a scoreless opening three minutes, Tigers' Simon Marr started off the scoring in the game with an in-close basket. UNB's Matt Daley responded with a distant three-point marker to pull ahead 3-2. Michael Fazzolari for UNB made a tremendous block, sending the ball into the hands of McFee as he travelled down the court adding a three-pointer, enforcing a now 9-4 lead. McFee added another three-pointer off a perfect pass from Javon Masters. Masters himself added another two baskets to continue the lead into the second quarter, 20-10.
Second quarter action kicked off with Dalhousie's Ritchie Kanza Mata netting back-to-back baskets to bring the Tigers closer: 20-16. Masters sunk a deep three-pointer to increase the lead: 29-17. Dalhousie clawed back with the help of some UNB foul trouble, allowing Chidi Majok to score a pair of foul shots, inching closer 31-26. Dal's Derek Norris added a two-point buzzer-beater to finish the half behind one: 31-30.
The second half commenced with the Tigers snatching the early 33-31 lead on a three-point-play from John Traboulsi.Masters tied the game for the V-Reds from the foul line, and McFee added yet another three to regain the lead 36-33. The Varsity Reds continued to drive hard to the hoop drawing fouls and capitalizing on free-throws, building a comfortable 46-39 lead. McFee added another basket from beyond the arc to round out the quarter, 51-39.
Masters started the final quarter off with a breathtaking breakaway dunk, evoking a huge response from the crowd. Kanzamatta added a hard fought basket for the Tigers to minimize the lead to five: 57-52.
Masters continued to boost the energy in the building with a huge three-point play. Dalhousie's Morris added an in-close jump shot to keep hope alive, 64-58. With a couple of foul shots Masters put the finishing touches on the game: UNB winning 74-66.
This marked the first regular season action game of the second half for the V-Reds. Coach Brent Baker was thrilled with his team's performance saying, "We had to battle, do a lot of work to defend that team, it's never going to be easy with this club… we battled through and that's what you have to do."
The next Varsity Reds action is tomorrow at 8:00pm, in a rematch against the Tigers.
Asked if he'd change the game plan Coach Baker responded, "We gotta tighten up a little defensively; it's going to be another grinder. Don't expect to see triple digits, we're going to have to earn it."
Thomas Wilson for UNB Sports Information