(SYDNEY, NS) Kiyara Letlow (Toronto, ON) led, the Cape Breton University Capers with a game-high 40 points in a 78-74 victory over the visiting UNB REDS in Atlantic University Sport women's basketball action on Friday evening.
Letlow, the Subway Player of the Game, added 17 rebounds.
"I didn't realize I had that many [points]," she said, with a laugh, after the game. Letlow explained that she was the beneficiary of her team's focus on moving the ball, along with "attacking the paint." She added, "I was definitely hot tonight, but it was a great team effort. It was a big four points to get. We needed them."
CBU's Chermensa van la Parra (Rotterdam, Neth.) got off to an aggressive start for the Capers, one keyed by a pair of nifty drives to the basket, while UNB point guard Marley Curwin (Halifax, NS) answered with a pair of hoops, as the home side led 8-6.
When freshman forward Darah Fleurgin (Montreal, QC) made a sensational spinning lay-up in traffic, the Capers extended their advantage to 14-6, one that ballooned to 17-8 on a three-point play by Letlow.
After MacKenzee Ryan (Glace Bay, NS) scored four consecutive points, including a pair of free throws, the Capers took a double-digit lead, 21-10.
CBU led 23-10 after one quarter.
Although the REDS tipped off the second quarter on a high note, with wing Jolianne Guay (Prévost, QC) sinking a three-pointer on their opening possession, by the two-minute mark, they trailed 29-13.
That's when the UNB attack from downtown kicked in, which included two long distance baskets from Katie McAffee (Lower Knoxford, NB), along with single three-pointers from Curwin and Guay, and the Caper advantaged was trimmed to 31-25.
Sparked by a couple of key drives by Leandra Hersey (Quispamsis, NB), the Capers regained their double-digit edge, at 41-29.
After four unanswered points from the REDS in the final seconds, including a Kylee Speedy (Fredericton, NB) lay-up just before the buzzer, CBU took a 41-33 edge to halftime.
Early in the third quarter, ignited by continued hot shooting, the REDS knotted the contest at 43-43 on a Curwin basket from downtown.
Letlow answered with five consecutive points to give the Capers a 48-43 lead midway through.
CBU then went up 53-48, but Ellen Hatt (Fall River, NS), making her REDS debut, answered for UNB with a three-pointer.
The Capers ratcheted up the defense and took a 60-51 edge heading into the final 10 minutes.
In the fourth quarter, Speedy and Letlow came out firing for their respective teams, while the Capers pushed their lead to 10 points, 66-56.
The REDS then made an 8-0 run, one ignited by Speedy and pressure defense, trimming the CBU lead to 70-68, before Ryan answered for CBU with a floater in the lane to break the scoring streak from the visitors.
CBU extended their edge to 75-69 in the final two minutes, but UNB wasn't done.
The REDS replied with five straight points, including a Curwin three-pointer, to make it 75-74 with about 40 seconds remaining in regulation.
The Capers scored the final three points to seal the deal.
Along with Letlow, Ryan hit double figures for the Capers, with 16 points.
Curwin and Speedy led the REDS with 15 and 12 points respectively, while Erin Ingalls (St. George, NB) added 10 and five rebounds.
Curwin also chipped in four rebounds, four assists and three steals, while Jayda Veinot (Port Williams, NS) contributed a team-high nine rebounds and five points.
The REDS continue their weekend road-trip on Saturday, visiting the STFX X-Women. Game time is 6:00pm.
The Capers next action comes after the December break, on January 6th, when they visit the X-Women.
RECAP BY: Corey LeBlanc/for CBU Athletics
PHOTOS BY: Vaughan Merchant/for CBU Athletics