REDS Edged In OT

UNB's Jolianne Guay (left) and Katie Butts (right) defend a Saint Mary's shot during Friday's 85-84 OT loss, in Halifax. (PHOTO: Mona Ghiz/for SMU Athletics)
UNB's Jolianne Guay (left) and Katie Butts (right) defend a Saint Mary's shot during Friday's 85-84 OT loss, in Halifax. (PHOTO: Mona Ghiz/for SMU Athletics)

(HALIFAX, NS) Saint Mary's guard Sophia Widmeyer (Dartmouth, NS), racked up a U SPORTS women's basketball season-high 37 points to lead the Huskies in an 85-84 win over the UNB REDS on Friday night, in Halifax.

"We were down 12 in the fourth quarter, and our goal was to stay with it, keep driving, take the shots we're good at, and defend and rebound, and we were able to get it to overtime and win it," said Widmeyer.

Widmeyer dominated from the jump, scoring her side's first eight points on fast transition drives to the rim, and a shot-clock beating reverse layup by guard Clara Gascoigne (Dartmouth, NS) gave the Huskies a 10-6 lead midway through the first.

The REDS responded with a 12-0 run, led by guard Kylee Speedy (Fredericton, NB), who came off the bench and provided instant offence for her team, scoring eight first quarter points. The Huskies ended the first quarter on a 6-0 run of their own, and a buzzer-beating lay-in by guard Aki Kobayashi (Halifax, NS), cut the REDS lead to 18-16. 

A back-and-forth second quarter saw the REDS outscore the Huskies 23-22, with Widmeyer (12 points) and Speedy (seven points) continuing to lead their sides. An early three by Widmeyer gave the home team their largest lead of the first half, 23-18, and Widmeyer hit another three plus the foul to put the Huskies up 27-24 midway through the quarter.

The REDS came storming back, beginning with a three-pointer by last season's Atlantic University Sport MVP Jayda Veinot (Port Williams, NS) and continued by some solid team play, as seven different REDS hit the scoresheet in the second quarter, and the team took a 41-38 lead to halftime.

The third quarter was a defensive grind, as both teams keyed on stopping the opponent's main weapon, as Widmeyer and Speedy each scored just two points. The REDS were able to open up a 48-44 lead, but Alaina McMillan (Brantford, ON) scored five straight points to regain the lead, and the Huskies led 51-50 heading to the final quarter.

The REDS opened up the fourth quarter on fire, as Veinot, McKinley Bezanson (Hantsport, NS) and Katie McAfee (Lower Knoxford, NB) each hit threes as part of a 11-0 run to put the visitors up 61-51. The Huskies responded with back-to-back layups by Widmeyer and forward Lucy Beaumont (Fredericton, NB), but the REDS hot shooting continued as Jolianne Guay (Prevost, QC) and Marley Curwin (Halifax, NS) connected on back-to-back threes to give the REDS their largest lead of the night, 67-55 with 4:26 remaining.

After a time-out the Huskies began chipping away, with Widmeyer hitting a pair of threes, and Gascoigne and forward  Marlo Steenbakkers (Ottawa, ON) hitting threes of their own to cut the REDS lead to 74-69 with 1:18 remaining. A Widmeyer lay-up cut the lead to three, and then McMillan was fouled on a three-point attempt. The senior guard hit two of three free-throws, but the Huskies got the offensive rebound and Widmeyer was fouled, sending her to the line where she hit one of two to tie the game at 74-74 and force overtime. 

The thrilling back-and-forth action continued in the extra period, with Veinot scoring a three-pointer, quickly followed by another basket from Widmeyer. With the game tied at 83-83, McMillan found Steenbakkers for a lay-up, and the Huskies wouldn't look back, locking down defensively to win it 85-84.

Widmeyer was named Subway Player of the Game. 

The REDS were led by Speedy with 21 points and Veinot with 18 points and seven rebounds.

The win improved the Huskies record to 4-1 on the season, while the REDS dropped to 4-1.

The two teams will face-off again Saturday, with the re-match tipping off at 6:00pm.

Recap by Lauren Phillips/for SMU Huskies Athletics
Photos by Mona Ghiz/for  SMU Huskies Athletics