FREDERICTON, N.B. (UNB Varsity Reds) — For the second night in a row, the UNB Varsity Reds dug themselves into a deep hole in Saturday’s AUS women’s basketball game against the UPEI Panthers.
But unlike Friday’s contest, the Varsity Reds dug their way out and recorded a 77-66 win over the visiting Panthers, a day after they fell behind early to UPEI and couldn’t recover in an 80-58 loss.
“I was really proud of everyone for rallying, because that was tough to come back from, a loss like that,” said Varsity Reds’ fifth-year guard Grace Wade (Moncton, NB). “I think we did a good job in proving that’s not who we are, and that’s not how we want to play.”
Laura Kaye (Fredericton, N.B.) led the Varsity Reds, scoring 14 points, including the 1000th regular season point of her AUS career.
“It feels pretty good, it’s definitely an accomplishment, but I’m just happy for my team to get the win tonight, that’s more important,” said Kaye, who also pulled down five rebounds.
Wade scored seven points and was named the Player of the Game.
Jenna Mae Ellsworth (Charlottetown, PEI) led all scorers with 21 points for the Panthers, while Reese Baxendale (Sussex, N.B.) added 15. Krystal Osburn (Ottawa) scored 11 points for UNB.
“Tonight, things just didn’t go our way and we didn’t know how to react to that at first,” said Baxendale. “Overall, I don’t think we played that bad, we just needed to adjust earlier in the game.”
Like Friday, the Panthers jumped out to an early lead. UPEI led 10-2 just 2:30 in, and extended that lead to 17-7 midway through the first quarter.
UNB would pull even at 26-26, before taking their first lead with about four minutes left in the half and they led 40-36 at half-time. UNB used a 6-0 run early in the third quarter to go up 48-39, and the Varsity Reds led by 16 after three quarters.
“It was, by far, our best game of the year in terms of details and doing the little things right,” said Varsity Reds head coach Jeff Speedy. “You don’t have to be perfect if you’re doing the little things right and putting the energy and effort into it.”
With the win, UNB improves to 8-10 this season, strengthening their hold on sixth place in the Atlantic University Sport standings and the last available AUS playoff berth.
The Panthers are now 9-9 and slip to fourth place in the AUS.
“It’s upsetting that we lost, but we just have to bounce back and get the two wins next weekend,” said Baxendale.
The Panthers now return home. They play host to the StFX X-Women at 6 p.m. AT Friday.
The Varsity Reds play host to the Dalhousie Tigers on Friday. That game, Military Appreciation Night, is scheduled to start at 8 p.m.