(FREDERICTON, NB) The UNB Varsity Reds fell to the the Saint Mary's Huskies in front of a large and loud crowd on Saturday, at the Richard J. Currie Centre.
Both teams opened the game playing high tempo ball. There was lots of shots and lots of scoring.
SMU took advantage of their size, but UNB capitalized on their fast breaks. The Huskies out-ran UNB and took an 11 point lead early in the first quarter. The VReds had some great ball movement in the first half, but could not execute their offensive play.
"We just gave up too many easy baskets," said UNB guard Javon Masters(Kitchener, ON), who led all scorers with 31 points. "I think it was just, really, in the beginning of the third that was the beginning of our downfall."
The second half was tight, with both UNB and SMU trading the lead throughout. The game ended with less excitement when the Huskies were awarded a number of late free throws. UNB fought through the adversity, but SMU took the win… 86-80.
"If we weren't 21 for 42 from the foul line, we might've been a little more, perhaps comfortable, down the stretch, but UNB is extremely scrappy," said Huskies' head coach Jonah Taussig.
"So far, early in this season, we haven't played our best basketball, I don't think," added Taussig. "So we're happy to get this one, for sure."
Prior to tip-off, Varsity Reds' head coach Brent Baker spoke to the crowd of more than 800 fans. He thanked all those who had offered support to four of his players displaced by an apartment fire last weekend. Masters, the Subway player of the game, says it wasn't a distraction leading into the weekend. "I think we handled it well, it was more that we didn't execute, we couldn't secure a rebound and I think that was our downfall."
The Varsity Reds end the first half of the season with a 3-and-4 record, while SMU improved to 2-and-4.
BY – SAMANTHA LAGACY, FOR UNB ATHLETICS