Women’s basketball were 1 and 1 this weekend against the Huskies with two intense mid season games to lead into the end of their semester against MUN on Nov. 25.
The squad travelled to Halifax this past weekend to compete against the Saint Mary’s University Huskies for a double header, seeking to extend their winning streak. Their first game on Friday began with a slow start and the injury of one of the Reds’ team leaders, Grace Wade, early in the first quarter.
“I was right there when it happened,” said teammate Eva Tumwine. Wade’s knee crumpled on the way up for a layup in a scene that was “heartbreaking.”
Wade was carried from the scene on a stretcher and the team speculates that the injury is a torn ACL.
“Grace has, in all likelihood, a torn ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) and her career is over,” said head coach Speedy in a press release. “I’m devastated, and she’s still crying. She wants to be out there. I wasn’t going to be ready to stop coaching her in March, I wanted to coach her forever, so neither one of us is ready for her to be done in November, for sure.”
The team continued on that night to dominate the Huskies in the second quarter and carry that momentum throughout the game, leaving the court with a score of 58-42. Fourth year Nicole Esson led in points with 17, while fifth year Hannah Currie led in rebounds with 15.
The next day, the two teams met again in a match giving the Reds their second loss of the season. Though the Reds had momentum from the previous day, ending the first quarter with a score of 22-19, the Huskies chipped away at the lead outscoring UNB in the third quarter 13-6.
SMU was able to hold onto the lead until the final buzzer, winning with a score of 61-56. UNB’s Laura Kaye reached her third highest point total of the season with 21 points, while Currie continued to lead the team in rebounds with 8.
Wade’s injury is an unparallelled loss for the team. She has played 83 games with the V-Reds so far, contributing a total of 743 points, 209 rebounds and 235 assists throughout her career.
“Obviously it’s really hard emotionally for her, we are all hurting and we really want the best for her,” said Kaye after Friday’s game. “Knees are never good, so we don’t know what to expect, so hopefully she’ll be back, fingers crossed.
“But it means that people are going to have to step up, it means that we’re going to half to take on some larger rolls and play some more minutes. She brings a big leadership presence on as well off the court. She’s a point guard she runs the floor, so we’re going to have to develop in that area. Our leadership is going to have to get a little bit better without her and then I think if we get the effort we can still manage.”
The Reds meet Memorial University this Friday and Saturday for their last league games before the holiday break. During the Saturday face-off, the UNB Varsity Reds Athletes Council will be hosting their Student Athlete Mental Health Initiative (SAMHI) kick off event, a Mental Health Match-up between the Reds and the Seahawks. Both games will be hosted at the Currie Center.
Photo: Andy Campbell Varsity Reds