Varsity Reds top Panthers at Subway AUS Championship

Varsity Reds top Panthers at Subway AUS Championship

(HALIFAX, N.S.) - The UNB Varsity Reds topped the UPEI Panthers 76-65 in the first quarter-final game of the Subway AUS Women's Basketball Championship on Friday afternoon.

After back-and-forth play throughout the start of the opening quarter, a Varsity Reds run put them ahead 18-12 to end the frame.

The Panthers looked for the comeback throughout the second quarter, going on a 10-0 run to tie the game at 21-21 just three minutes into the second frame.

With the game tied at 32-32 nearing the end of the half, a jump shot from UNB's Nicole LaFleur (Fredericton, N.B.) gave the Varsity Reds the 34-32 edge at the half.

Grace Wade (Moncton, N.B.) led the court in points throughout the first half, posting 12 points for the Varsity Reds. 

A UNB run late in the third allowed them to jump out to a 54-46 lead with just 10 minutes remaining in regulation. 

UNB extended the gap throughout the fourth quarter, holding a 66-49 lead with under seven minutes remaining.

Looking for the comeback, a set of successful free-throws from UPEI's Kiera Rigby (Charlottetown, P.E.I.) put the Panthers within seven with just 02:23 remaining on the clock. 

Despite their comeback efforts, the Panthers fell 76-65 to the Varsity Reds, ending their championship run.

Rachel Cleary (Brantford, Ont.), the Subway Player of the Game for UNB, posted 15 points in the Varsity Reds victory, adding nine rebounds. Grace Wade also posted 15 points in the win, adding five rebounds. 

The Subway Player of the Game for the UPEI Panthers was Kiera Rigby, who posted a game-high 16 points and added seven rebounds. 

The UNB Varsity Reds advance to semifinal action as they face the first-place Saint Mary's Huskies on Saturday at 1 p.m. at the Scotiabank Centre. 

Photo Credit:  Nick Pearce