FREDERICTON, N.B. (from UNB Varsity Reds) — Javon Masters (Kitchener, Ont.) scored a game-high 39 points to lead the UNB Varsity Reds to a 104-96 win over the Saint Mary’s Huskies, becoming the all-time leading scorer in Canadian university men’s basketball history in the process.
With 0:46 to play in the third quarter, Masters hit a pair of free throws to tie the old U Sports scoring record of 2282 and then establish a new mark.
“It’s something special. I can’t even describe it right now,” said Masters, following the game. “I’m still in awe of the moment. I’ll take some time to talk to my family about it, but at the same time, I’ve got to prepare myself for tomorrow.”
Masters was 11-of-22 from the field and 13-of-14 from the free throw line.
His 39 points give him 2,296 points in 90 regular season games.
“I wasn’t keeping count in my head,” he said. “I had a feeling as the game kept going on that I was going to get it.”
Boris Bakovic scored 2,282 career points in five seasons, four at Ryerson and a fifth at the University of Calgary.
“It was hovering over me a little bit today,” admitted Masters. “I was talking with one of the alumni today. He said it would be nice if you could get the win and at the same time break the record, so for us to do both is icing on the cake.”
Masters’ record-setting night also included six rebounds and four assists.
He was named the Player of the Game.
Ogot Ogot (Edmonton) came off the Varsity Reds bench and scored 13 points, while Will Legere (Amherst, NS) added 12 points and eight rebounds.
Nico Brauner (Wiesbaden, Germany) led the Huskies, scoring 28 points. Osman Barrie (Ottawa) added 22.
Despite the loss, Saint Mary’s head coach Jonah Taussig liked his team’s offensive effort.
“We shot the ball better than them, we got to the line, we did everything we wanted to do offensively,” said Taussig. “Defensively, I thought we were pretty good, with the exception that they got too many second chances. They took 30 more shots than we did in the game.”
UNB outscored the Huskies 22-5 on second-chance points and won the rebound battle 44-27.
“We put up 104, so it wasn’t necessarily just me,” said Masters. “It was all the other guys too, doing their job. I put the ball in the basket, but it’s all them, they do the grinding work. It’s a team effort too.”
Varsity Reds head coach Brent Baker says he’s seen few players as motivated as Masters.
“The motor is exceptional. He has a driving force,” said Baker. “There aren’t too many guys that have that. He’s not going to be denied, not against size, not against speed.”
Masters basked in the glow of the victory and the new scoring record only a short time.
“You could never have scripted it better. Coming here five years ago and being able to break this record, it means a lot. But we still have some work to do tomorrow, and we’ve got a couple more weeks to go.”
Masters, playing in his fifth and final year of eligibility, says the team’s goal is winning the Atlantic University Sport title, something UNB has only done once, and not since 1967.
Now 11-3, UNB sits third in the AUS standings and has clinched a playoff spot.
The Huskies are now 7-5 and sit fifth in the eight-team league.
The Varsity Reds and Huskies conclude their weekend series on Saturday afternoon. Tip-off is scheduled for 3 p.m. AT.