The men’s basketball team played their final games of 2015 over the weekend and came out with a 102-97-overtime win and an 86-80 loss both against the SMU Huskies.
The Huskies started Saturday’s game on a big run, outscoring the V-Reds 28-17 in the first quarter.
UNB answered back in the second frame with a run of their own, capped off by a flagrant foul committed by SMU which resulted in three made free throws for Javon Masters.
The Reds would enter the half down only two to the Huskies.
Halftime at the Currie Center was spectacle to the NBA All-Star tour, a promotional event for the 2016 NBA All-Star game being hosted in Toronto.
The event included a skills and dunk competition as well as a three-point shooting contest.
Retired NBA legend Ron Harper, who won five NBA championship rings including three with Michael Jordan’s Bulls, made an appearance at the event and got a chance to address the UNB teams.
UNB took their first lead of the game soon after the second half started but would go on to see SMU regain the advantage after a double digit run, the Reds called timeout when the score hit 58-48.
Out of the timeout, Alex Caskey hit a jump shot from the baseline to kick off a run that would leave UNB trailing 65-60 at the end of the third.
The Reds managed to get the game tied up at 72’s with just over four minutes remaining.
The two teams traded buckets until UNB committed an offensive foul that gave SMU an extra possession on which they scored to give the Huskies a four point lead with not much time left.
Dylan Baker made the game close with a made basket plus a free throw that cut the SMU lead to two. However, UNB could not get a stop on the defensive end and the clock ran out with the Huskies in the lead.
Masters scored 31 of UNB’s 80 points in the loss and is once again in the running for AUS MVP as he is averaging 24.0 points a game.
Saturday nights loss marked just the second win for the Huskies this season while UNB would have gotten over the .500 bump for the first time this season if they had won.
The weekend’s games came on the heels of a house fire that left four of the teams players temporarily homeless.
“I’m so proud of coaching this group, they know what they’ve got to do, they battle for everything,” said UNB head coach Brent Baker.
Friday night’s contest saw the V-Reds even their record at 3-3 with a thrilling over-time-win over the SMU Huskies.
Second year forward Osman Barrie was 16-16 from the floor for the Huskies and put up a 36-point double-double to lead the game in scoring.
Javon Masters was once again the leading scorer for the V-Reds as he dropped 28 points to go along with four rebounds, four assists and four steals.
Masters became the all-time AUS leader in free throws made on Friday. He did this in only his third year of eligibility and has two more seasons to add to his total of 422 made free throws.
The V-Reds will now start their Holiday break and won’t play again until Jan. 8. When they travel to Cape Breton to take on the Capers in a four-point game.