(FREDERICTON, NB) In his Atlantic University Sport debut on Friday, first-year forward Norm Burry (Grafton, NB) dropped a game-high 21 points as the UNB REDS made a statement in their home opener with an 82-65 win over the STFX X-Men.
Burry's impressive debut earned him Subway Player of the Game.
"It was a great team win, a great way to start our season and I thought we came out for four quarters and really played hard," said Burry.
The win was the first for the REDS new head coach Joe Salerno.
"In the grand scheme of things, it's one conference win, but for us, our group needed this," said Salerno.
"We had an up and down pre-season, so this type of win against the number one team in our conference, at least the pre-season number one, is great for our confidence."
Avan Nava (Mississauga, ON) led the X-Men with 17 points.
The REDS opener was played before 752 fully vaccinated and masked fans at UNB's Currie Center.
After a fast start for the REDS that gave them an early 11-6 lead, the X-Men would roar back to tie the game 21-21 after the opening quarter.
The REDS would play with the lead throughout the second, albeit a slim one as STFX kept pace and only trailed UNB 41-40 at halftime.
The REDS would break the game open in the third, opening with a 13-4 run for a double-digit 54-44 lead.
UNB would hold their foot on the gas for the entire quarter, smothering X in the paint and forcing plenty of turnovers.
Tyrell Leotaud (Ajax, ON) bolstered the offence in the frame, dropping a pair of timely three-pointers as well as the last five points of the quarter to widen the REDS lead to 64-45 going into the fourth.
"In our pre-season we had rough third-quarters and I thought today we came out and we had a lot of energy, which was our goal going into it, to make sure we didn't go down," said Burry
UNB was dominant from three-point range shooting 32.3% to STFX's 19%.
The X-Men would not recover in the fourth and the REDS cruised to the 82-65 win.
The two teams meet again Saturday, in Fredericton. Game time is 8:00pm.
RECAP BY: Jonathon James/for UNB Athletics
PHOTOS BY: James West/for UNB Athletics