(FREDERICTON, NB) The UNB Varsity Reds held the Cape Breton Capers to just 19 second half points, on route to a 74-55 win on Friday night.
Playing before a crowd of almost 900, on Soldier Appreciation Night, the Varsity Reds got their usual solid defence and balanced offensive output.
Nicole LaFleur(Fredericton, NB) led the UNB effort, scoring 16 points. She was name Subway Player of the Game. She also earned the Fallen Soldier Award.
"We owe more to them than we do to the court," said LaFleur of the soldiers and their families who were on hand. "I was honoured tonight to receive an award from them. Even to have them all here, it's just great."
Alison Keough(Marion Bridge, NS) scored a game-high 27 points for the Capers. She also had 12 rebounds. Natasha Roach(Roxboro, QC) added 13 points for CBU.
UNB led by 10 after the first quarter, and was up 41-36 at the half.
The Varsity Reds pulled away in the second half, limiting the Capers to just 9 points in the fourth quarter.
The 19 point win came in stark contrast to the 18 point loss the Varsity Reds suffered in Sydney, in January.
"I don't know how you lose to somebody by 18 and then beat them by 19," said Varsity Reds head coach Jeff Speedy. "It's just crazy. But I'm very pleased. Very pleased with our defensive effort."
Speedy was quick to point out that LaFleur may have had extra motivation on Friday.
"Nicole is engaged and her fiancé was here tonight and it's kind of a running joke, for the last six weeks, whenever he's made the trip to wherever we play, she's played great."
"He's in Halifax," noted Speedy. "He'll be there for the AUS, which is fantastic."
"I try and play hard every game," said LaFleur. "It's kind of coincidence that every time he shows up, I play okay."
Keough, a fourth year forward with the Capers, was disappointed with the loss, despite her own double-double effort.
"It's a team game," she said. "I'm just trying to do everything I can to help us win. We're coming on a three-game losing streak. It's going to be tough, but we have to look to PEI now."
The Capers head to Charlottetown where they'll face the Panthers on Sunday.
The Varsity Reds will wrap up their regular season on the road, visiting St. FX on Friday.
"We have to take what we did on the court today, continue it in practice and keep going next weekend, get momentum next weekend and take it right into AUS," said LaFleur.