The UNB Varsity Reds women’s basketball team is enjoying life at the Currie Center.
After losing two games at Saint Mary’s the previous weekend, the Varsity Reds returned home and defeated the St. Francis Xavier X-Women 82-61 on Friday and 70-58 on Saturday. The victories improved UNB’s record to 4-2 overall and a perfect 4-0 at home.
Varsity Reds head coach Jeff Speedy said he was pleased with how his team played on their home hardwood.
“One of the things you want to do is defend your home court and try and win at home. If you’re not a very good basketball team it’s hard to defend your home court,” said Speedy. “I think we’re starting to become a good basketball team so it becomes a reasonable goal to try and win most if not all of our games at home.”
Post Katelyn Mangold said after Friday’s game that the team was rebounding better against StFX than they had against Saint Mary’s. UNB outrebounded StFX 37-30 on Friday and 33-31 on Saturday.
“It was just okay, to be honest,” Speedy said about his team’s rebounding on Saturday. “When we outrebound our opponent we usually win and that was one of our big Achilles’ heels last weekend. We got outrebounded by Saint Mary’s. I think we won the rebounding battle today but they got too many offensive boards and it’s definitely something we have to fix.”
The Reds used a balanced offensive attack to defeat the X-Women on Saturday. Nicole LaFleur led the way with 18 points while Mangold, Grace Wade and Kiley DeLong each reached double-digit figures.
Both teams were struggling to score early on in Saturday’s game with StFX netting the first field goal of the match over two minutes into the contest. UNB’s offence continued to struggle throughout the opening quarter and they trailed 17-11 at the buzzer.
“I thought we were just a little too passive,” said Speedy.
“[We let] their physical defence affect us instead of keeping our feet moving and making it hard to guard us. I thought in the last three or four minutes of the first half we really got our feet moving and they had a hard time guarding us when we did.”
The Varsity Reds started to turn things around in the second quarter and pulled ahead a little over three minutes in. The Reds did a much better job at capitalizing on their opportunities and took a 32-27 lead at the half.
UNB started to pull away in the third and led by 13 heading into the fourth. UNB was outscored 16-15 in the fourth but still defeated StFX by 12 points.
On Friday, the Varsity Reds led by as much as eight in the first quarter and were up 18-15 at the buzzer.
In the second, the X-Women came strong out of the gate and took a 19-18 lead less than a minute in. The two teams would go back and forth in the second quarter but a couple of jump shots from Laura Fox late in the frame gave the V-Reds a 36-31 lead at halftime.
UNB started to pull away a bit in the third quarter, leading by nine points less than 90 seconds in. A 6-0 run to end the quarter put UNB up 58-46 at the end of three.
The V-Reds continued to charge in the fourth quarter, leading them to an 82-61 victory.
Mangold was named UNB’s player of the game with 21 points and nine rebounds. Laura Kaye also had a strong game, registering 19 points.
UNB plays their final games of the first half on Friday at Cape Breton and on Saturday at StFX. The Friday match against the Capers will be the Varsity Reds’ first four-point game of the season.
“It’s very difficult to win in that gym,” Speedy said about the CBU game. “It’s our longest road trip. We’re battling with those guys right now [in the standings]. Then we have X again — three times in eight days, which is insane. We’ll hate each other pretty good by next Saturday night.”