(FREDERICTON, NB) There's no place like home.
In their home opener, the UNB Varsity Reds scored their first win of the Atlantic University Sport season… a big 104-66 win over the Cape Breton University Capers.
It was a highlight night for Mark Matheson. He scored a game-high 34 points to lead the UNB offensive outburst. Matheson also pulled down a team-high seven rebounds.
Kenny Jean-Louis recorded a double-double… 21 points and 13 rebounds, but it just wasn't enough to keep the Capers in the game.
The Varsity Reds roared out of the gate, scoring nine unanswered baskets to take a commanding lead on the Capers.
UNB went on a seven point run early in the third to extend their lead, but kept up the defensive play, not allowing CBU to score two consecutive baskets for thirteen minutes of play.
With a large gap to overcome, the Capers began pushing in the third quarter. They went on a 10-5 run. However, UNB wasn't willing to relent, going on a 12-3 run of their own.
"The shots were falling, it felt pretty good. We came out in the second half with the same energy we had in the first and it worked out," said Mark Matheson. "After our two loses last week against Dalhousie, we really needed to come out and win it this weekend and we did, which was really nice."
"As you can see, we pushed it a lot more," said head coach Brent Baker. "Last week we had a seven point lead and seven free throws down the stretch to win that game and we didn't seal the deal, we beat ourselves on the road last week"
Four VReds starters finished with more than 10 points, while the bench compiled 16. The team also picked up 16 assists and 30 rebounds.
"It's all on the players here, we had a good game plan that's for sure but they bought in," said Baker.
"We took away probably the most dominant post player in the league, in Lufile, and when we share the ball and we move and we run its fun to watch. You're really fighting your psyche not to let the other team back in the game, so to maintain that lead was really big for us."
The Varsity Reds head to St. John's next weekend, for a pair of games against the Memorial Seahawks.
BY – MICHAEL BOURGEOIS FOR UNB ATHLETICS
PHOTO CREDIT – MICHAEL BOURGEOIS