The UNB Varsity Reds women's basketball team won the first of two match-ups against St. FX this weekend, besting the X-Women 82-61.
It's a big win for the Varsity Reds, who are currently tied with Dalhousie for second in the AUS, with 3 wins and 2 losses so far this season. UNB came into today's game after dropping two games to Saint Mary's last weekend.
Although UNB led throughout the game, it was a close first half with teams trading point for point. The Varsity Reds defence struggled to keep up with the X-Women's speed in transition, and the game went into halftime closer than they probably would have liked, with UNB up 36-31.
The V-Reds came into the second half with a tightened defence, and that's when they managed to find some momentum and pull away on the scoreboard. Leading the charge for UNB was post Katelyn Mangold with 21 points, nine rebounds and two steals. Not far behind was guard Laura Kaye with 19 points. Solid performances also came from St. FX's Lindsay Lessard and Melissa Gottschall, who posted 18 points a piece.
Mangold says the Varsity Reds came into this game with a different energy than they had last weekend, and that that, coupled with improved transitions in the second half, is what made the difference.
"In the second half, we were more careful with the ball and our rebounding improved," Mangold said. "In the first half our defensive rebounding was not as strong as it should be. They got a lot of offensive rebounds which gave them a lot of second chance points which they shouldn't have had. So in the second half we changed that, and we were definitely better defensively."
Tightening up the defence, she says, is something the V-Reds have been focussing on a lot so far this season.
"Boxing out is a huge thing for us, and our turn-over rate is also stressed in practice," she added. "One of our keys to winning this game was our transition defence because they're a fast team and they like to run, so it's really important for us to get back on D and match up."
The Varsity Reds are now 3-0 on home court. They play next when they host St. FX again tomorrow at 4pm.