(HALIFAX, NS) Nine different Huskies scored as Saint Mary's defeated the U SPORTS No. 7 ranked UNB REDS 82-77 on Saturday night, in Halifax.
Coming off an 85-84 overtime win on Friday night, Saturday night's tilt saw the two Atlantic University Sport heavyweights continue to play high quality, competitive basketball with five lead changes on the night.
The REDS took an early lead thanks to some strong play inside by forward Katie Butts (Ottawa, ON). A three by reigning AUS MVP Jayda Veinot (Port Williams, NS), gave the REDS a 23-16 lead, but Huskies forward Marlo Steenbakkers (Ottawa, ON) was able to respond with a triple of her own, and the REDS led 23-19 after the first quarter.
In the second, Saint Mary's quickly took the lead with a 6-0 run capped off by a steal and fastbreak layup by forward Katelyn Power (Bayside, NS). The Huskies extended the lead to 35-29 midway through the quarter.
At the half, Saint Mary's was up 43-38.
All nine Huskies who appeared in the game scored in the first half. The REDS were led by Veinot's 14 and Butts' 10 points.
The back-and-forth continued in the third quarter, with Veinot hitting a pair of free-throws to tie the score at 49-49. Once again, the Huskies bench helped them go on a run, with guard Clara Gascoigne (Dartmouth, NS) scoring six points.
The Huskies finished the quarter on a 14-6 run giving them a 63-55 lead heading to the fourth.
The Huskies continued their run to start the final quarter, outscoring the REDS 8-2, with a trio of Sophia Widmeyer (Dartmouth, NS) free-throws giving the Huskies their largest lead of the game, 71-57 with just over five minutes remaining.
The REDS clawed back thanks to some great shot-making by Veinot, who scored nine of her game high 28 points in the fourth, and a pair of Kylee Speedy (Fredericton, NB) free throws cut the Huskies lead to 76-72. McMillan was clutch down the stretch, hitting four late free throws, to secure the 82-77 victory.
Saint Mary's Aki Kobayashi was named Subway Player of the Game with six points, four rebounds and three assists, with some clutch playmaking and defensive intensity down the stretch.
"This weekend was big for us, They're a really great team." said Kobayashi post-game. "I always come off the bench, so I try to bring energy to the court. We didn't start well at the beginning of the third quarter, so I just tried to change the game and that worked."
For the second night in a row, Sophia Widmeyer led the Huskies in scoring with 19 points, including a perfect 11/11 from the free-throw line, and added five rebounds and three assists.
The REDS were led by Veinot with a season-high 28 points, including the 1000th point of her AUS career, seven rebounds and three steals. Butts added 15 points and six rebounds, while Speedy chipped in 12 points off the bench.
The Huskies win improves their record to 5-and-1. They'll hit the road next Friday to take on the Cape Breton Capers. Tip-off scheduled for 6:00pm.
The REDS loss drops their record to 4-and-2. They'll be back in action on Saturday, hosting the UPEI Panthers. Game time is 6:00pm.
Recap by Allan April / SMU Huskies Athletics
Photos by Mona Ghiz / SMU Huskies Athletics