(FREDERICTON, NB) The UNB Varsity Reds scored their first win of the season, beating the visiting UPEI Panthers 102-87, on Friday.
Javon Masters(Kitchener, ON), celebrating his 22nd birthday, recorded a triple-double. He scored 15 points, pulled down 10 rebounds, and dished out 10 assists.
"Coach Baker wanted me to be more of a leader, do more of what it takes for the team," said Masters. "If that's me grabbing rebounds, if that means me getting guys involved, if it means scoring… I'm just happy that we got the win today."
Shavon Gayle(Windsor, ON) led the Panthers with 18 points.
UNB's Jamaal Potopsingh(Brampton, ON) scored a game-high 19.
"A lot of guys stepped up today. Jamaal played very well today. Donavann(Hastings) played well, Hess(Mayele) played well, so it was a very team oriented win," said Masters.
The Varsity Reds led 25-11 after one quarter, and 42-29 at the half.
"We didn't play well right from the start," said Panthers head coach Tim Kendrick. "You can't spot a team as good as UNB, especially in their building. We didn't show up tonight, I'm disappointed."
The Panthers were slightly better in the second half, but couldn't overcome the deficit.
Masters' triple-double is could be a bit of a turning point.
The two-time, defending USports scoring champion played a more rounded game.
UNB head coach Brent Baker was impressed.
"I said I wanted 15, 7, and 7… and he went out and had that stat line tonight, and we walk away with a 'W'," said Baker. "Rebounds are hussle, effort plays, and when you rebound, it shows how much you're in to both ends of the game."
Friday's win follows back-to-back losses, at Memorial, last weekend, so there was no mistaking the importance of the win for the Varsity Reds.
"You never want to start the season down 0-3, especially in the AUS. It was big," said Masters.
There's a quick turnaround for both sides.
They meet again, on Saturday night.
"We hope to be a lot better tomorrow than we were today," said the Panthers' Kendrick.
Saturday's tip-off is scheduled for 8:00PM.