UNB Varsity Reds men’s basketball head coach Brent Baker said this would be a tough road trip for his team.
He was right.
The Varsity Reds, who entered action last week with a perfect 6-0 record, dropped both of their road games, falling 93-89 at Cape Breton on Friday and 82-77 at St. Francis Xavier on Saturday. Friday’s contest was the team’s first four-point game of the 2014-15 campaign.
UNB has had great success with the three ball of late but went cold on Friday in their loss to the Capers. The Reds hit only eight of their 35 three-point shot attempts while Cape Breton was able to nail 10 of 25. Jordan Irvine hit five of UNB’s eight three pointers.
The Capers were able to keep Javon Masters to only 16 points in the game. Will McFee had a V-Reds high 23 points while Irvine registered 19.
The Varsity Reds led 23-22 after the first quarter and 46-43 at halftime. The two teams battled it out the rest of the way. UNB was able to get within two late in the fourth but that would be as close as they would get.
On Saturday, the Reds led the X-Men 22-17 at the end of one but things ended up tied 39-39 at halftime. In the third, UNB led by as much as nine and were up 63-59 heading into the final 10 minutes of the match. StFX was able to outscore UNB 23-14 in the final quarter en route to the victory.
Masters had a team high 21 points for the Varsity Reds while Nikola Mandic had 20. UNB’s bench contributed just four points in the game. The team didn’t have a great night from three-point land once again, hitting only eight of 28 attempts.
UNB enters the holiday break with a 6-2 record, good for 12 points and second place in the Atlantic University Sport standings. They sit two points back of the league-leading Dalhousie Tigers who have a record of 5-1.
The Varsity Reds are the only team in the AUS to have played eight games. Because of this, they lead league in points for — they have netted 710 — by a fairly large margin.
Masters has performed as expected and sits second in the conference in points per game with 23.6. UPEI’s Tyler Scott leads the conference with 26.6.
Masters’ average of 35 playing minutes per game is an AUS high.
The next action for the men’s basketball team will be the UNB Alumni Tournament, held Jan. 2-3 at the Currie Center. They resume AUS play on Jan. 9 at home against Saint Mary’s.