Varsity Reds Rebound Against Acadia

UNB's Laura Kaye(Fredericton, NB) surveys the Acadia defence in Saturday's 84-62 win. Kaye led the Varsity Reds with 22 points. (Andy Campbell/UNB Athletics)
UNB's Laura Kaye(Fredericton, NB) surveys the Acadia defence in Saturday's 84-62 win. Kaye led the Varsity Reds with 22 points. (Andy Campbell/UNB Athletics)

(FREDERICTON, NB) The UNB Varsity Reds used a 20-2 fourth quarter run to push past the Acadia Axewomen in an 84-62 win Saturday, in Fredericton.

The win clinched an Atlantic University Sport playoff spot for the Varsity Reds.

Paloma Anderson(Phoenix, AR) scored a game-high 34 points for Acadia, but only one other Axewoman scored in double figures. Chanel Smith(Halifax, NS) had 11.

Four of UNB's five starters scored in double-figures, including Laura Kaye(Fredericton, NB) with 22, Katelyn Mangold(Peterborough, ON) with 19 and Nicole LaFleur(Fredericton, NB) with 13.

Nine of LaFleur's 13 came in the fourth quarter, including a key three point basket with less than six minutes to play.

"There are turnaround points," said LaFleur. "If you can hit a three like that then it's going to give you momentum. We were able to pull it together at that point and realized we could win this."

The Varsity Reds led 20-13 after one quarter, but the Axewomen used a 12-0 run in the second to pull even, 34-34, at the half.

UNB made some technical adjustments in the second half, and that proved to be the difference.

"When you blow a 12 point lead and you're coming off a night where you lose a huge game, it would've been easy for us to fold up our tent, so I'm really pleased with our character and the mental toughness we showed tonight," said Varsity Reds head coach Jeff Speedy.

"At half time, they adjusted to some of the stuff we were doing, and they did a good job," said Axewomen head coach Len Harvey.

"With all due respect to Acadia, I thought we gave the lead away," said Speedy. "I didn't think they did a lot to make that big run they made. We just made way too many mistakes with their full court press and a certain zone they threw against us."

While the Varsity Reds sunk some big three point shots, they dominated the inside game, outscoring Acadia 26-6 in the paint.

"Once we got some ball movement against their zone, we were able to pick it apart and then pull away in the fourth quarter," said LaFleur.

Disappointed with the loss, Coach Harvey was pleased with his team's effort. He says the Varsity Reds are one of the better teams in the AUS, and admits his young team struggled offensively.

"We're a little bit more by committee than people give us credit for," said Harvey. "Paloma, tonight, was outstanding, but we need to continue to find more production. We have it, it's just a matter of more consistency."

With the win, UNB is now 10-4, sitting third in the AUS.

Acadia falls to 5-8.

"These four points were huge," said LaFleur. "It was the second half where we won. We have a goal that we're going to win very fourth quarter, so the fact we won the whole second half was great."

Next on the schedule for the Axewomen, home games against Cape Breton, next Friday and Saturday.

The Varsity Reds visit UPEI for a weekend series, Friday and Saturday.