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Varsity Reds down basketball Tigers 80-67

Photo courtesy of Andy Campbell
Photo courtesy of Andy Campbell

Source: Andy Campbell, UNB Athletics

(FREDERICTON, NB) The UNB Varsity Reds upset the U Sports Canada No. 7 ranked Dalhousie Tigers 80-67, Saturday night, in Fredericton.

UNB was led by reigning Atlantic University Sport MVP Javon Masters (Kitchener, ON), who recorded a double-double, scoring 22 points and pulling down 10 rebounds. Masters also dished out seven assists.

Hess Mayele (Montreal, QC) scored 16 for the Varsity Reds, while Stephon Smith (New Orleans, LOU) had 10.

Jordan Aquino-Serjue (Montreal, QC) led the Tigers with 16 points.

"We played for Don Nelson," said Masters, referring to the long-time UNB basketball and football coach who passed away last Sunday.

"To have his initials on our jerseys, it was an honour. He was such a great coach, and such a wonderful contributor to the sport and the community, here in Fredericton. We dedicated this game, this win to him."

The Tigers, who were without key starters, including fourth-year forward Sven Stammberger, were never really in the game.

UNB led 22-19 after one quarter, and 40-36 at the half.

The Varsity Reds used an effective inside game, scoring 38 points from the paint.

The VReds also out-rebounded Dal 36-20.

"It's been a long road getting to the point where we play at the level of the better teams in the country," said Varsity Reds head coach Brent Baker. "They were down two of their better players, two of their starters, so give them credit for coming up tonight."

UNB's depth showed too, as the Varsity Reds' bench outscored Dal's 35-14.

"Any time you can get a W on a top-ranked team, that's huge," said Baker.

Masters says the win feels good, especially against the team that knocked UNB from the AUS playoffs last season.

"These guys have had our number the last couple of years," said Masters. "For us to come out, play with a sense of togetherness and grind out the win is good. Defensively, holding them to 67 points is a big step."

Dal is now 5-2.

UNB improves to 4-3.

Both teams are part of a four-way tie for second in the AUS standings.

The Tigers next see action on January 7th, when they travel to UPEI.

The Varsity Reds will be in Sydney, January 6th, to take on the Cape Breton Capers.

"Now we get the chance to rest, for exams, and come back with a new focus next semester," said Masters.