The UNB Varsity Reds men's basketball team came out on top with a 83-76 victory over the Acadia Axemen in their regular season home opener.
Will McFee got UNB on the board early with a quick two-points, giving them a lead they would manage to keep for the rest of the game. It wasn't an easy win with Acadia managing to keep the score to no more than a 12-point difference, but UNB maintained a momentum that kept them in the lead over the Axemen.
"In this league wins come really tough, we'll take any one we can get," said UNB head coach Brent Baker. "I think our effort level tonight wasn't what we expected, and we didn't play to the level that I think we were capable of. It was a good wake-up call."
Baker noted the absence of Acadia's third-year forward Kyle Arsenault threw the men for somewhat of a loop, as they anticipated a match-up against one of the Axemen's leading scorers.
The men finished with 11 offensive rebounds and 27 defensive, but Acadia was neck-and-neck finishing with 10 offensive and 27 defensive rebounds.
In the second quarter, each side would put up less than 20 points on the board - UNB with 17 and Acadia getting 19. Although UNB led in points overall, there was always an opportunity for the Axemen to claw their way back.
A mere 20 seconds into the third quarter Ryan Smith received a technical and Axemen's Shaquille Smith got the basket for Acadia. He would follow that up with a jump shot, but a huge dunk by Dylan Baker accompanied by two points from Javon Masters would have the V-Reds would come out of the third with 25 points to Acadia's 22.
The final quarter would see another technical called, this time on Axemen's first-year Ben Miller, putting McFee at the line. They would maintain possession of the ball in the final minutes of the game, and come away with a win for their first regular-season game.
The Varsity Reds host the Axemen again on Saturday, November 8, at 5pm.
Bronte James for UNB Sports Information